With the 2012 Summer Olympics years behind us (the next installment is in 2016), a documentary feature film about 19 year-old Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, the youngest woman – and one of the first women – to ever box in the Olympics, will be making its world premiere at the upcoming SXSW Film Festival in Austin. TX, later this month.
The tri-continental effort (North America, Europe and Asia) comes from directors Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari, who begun work on the film in 2012 (when Shields was 17 years old), en route to a successful $64,000 crowdfunding campaign – funds that were used to complete the film. Although a major part of the film’s funding came courtesy of Independent Lens.
Here’s a long description of the project: “T-Rex” is an intimate coming-of-age story about a new kind of American heroine. For the first time ever, women’s boxing is included in the 2012 Olympics. Fighting for gold from the U.S. is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, just 17 years old, and by far the youngest competitor. From the hard knock streets of Flint, Michigan, Claressa is undefeated and utterly confident. Her fierceness extends beyond the ring. She protects her family at any cost, even when their instability and addictions threaten to derail her dream. Claressa does have one stable force in her life. Coach Jason Crutchfield has trained her since she was a scrawny 11-year-old hanging out at his gym. Jason always wanted a champion; he just never thought it’d be a girl. Her relationships with her coach and her family grow tenser as she gets closer and closer to her dream. But Claressa is fierce and determined. She desperately wants to take her family to a better, safer place and winning a gold medal could be her only chance.”
At the 2012 summer Olympics in London, women’s boxing was a first-time-ever sport, with Claressa being the youngest of all the competitors. She 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 after the Olympics, as a new chapter in her life began…
Her current record stands at Wins 43, 18 of them by knockout, and just 1 loss! Her last big win was last year, when she took home the Gold at the 2014 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
The documentary that tells her story, titled “T-Rex,” will make its world premiere at SXSW this month.
S&A has been granted an exclusive first look at the film’s poster, embedded below (underneath, you’ll find a clip as well as a trailer):
In the exclusive clip from the film below, Claressa talks about what it was like during her early years pursuing the sport:
And if you missed it, here’s the trailer: