With the 2012 Summer Olympics now officially behind us (unless you live in London anyway, where you all are probably still recovering from it all), a documentary feature film about 17 year-old Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, the youngest woman – and one of the first – to ever box in the Olympics, is in production.
The tri-continental effort (North America, Europe and Asia) comes from directors Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari, who’ve been shooting the film since the beginning of this year, and recently successfully completed a $64,000 fundraising campaign – funds that will now be used to complete the film in another 4-6 months.
Here’s a long description of the project:
T-Rex isn’t her real name. Her real name is Claressa. Friends and family just call her Ressa. She’s from Flint, Michigan. She’s in high school. Next year she’ll be a senior. The first day we met, it was her 17th birthday. She had a water balloon fight and a big, yellow cake. She carries her money around in a plastic bottle. She wears her hair in braids (sometimes). She takes the bus to school. She likes twitter. She likes boys. She writes in her journal. Pretty everyday for a teenager. But this is hardly an everyday story. Six years ago her dad took her to a local boxing gym. She said she wanted to box. He said, “Hell no. Boxing is a man’s sport.” She ignored him.
Skip ahead to the 2012 summer Olympics in London, where women’s boxing was a first-time-ever sport, with Claressa being the youngest of all the competitors. Claressa would eventually claim her sport in history as the youngest, and the first woman boxer to win a Gold Medal in her weight class.
She returned home, to Flint just yesterday, as a new chapter in her life begins…
This would be a doc primed for the Sundance Film Festival next January, but with 4-6 months left of production, it’s unlikely it’ll premiere there.
But it’s on my watch list.
Check out a preview of what to expect below: