Adam Bhala Lough has gone from NYU to Tribeca and Sundance, numerous times, hanging out with Lil Wayne on tour to filming the world's top skateboarders. "The Motivation," a documentary on the annual street league competition that brings together eight of the best skateboarders across the globe, gives an intimate look at those who dedicate their lives to four wheels and a wooden board. While dealing in the realm of the sport itself, Lough's film also offers commentary on the pressures of fame and Western pain medication.
What it's about: Eight of the world’s best pro-skateboarders prepare for the upcoming Street League Championship in NYC. Each equally talented, they all must overcome unique challenges—family pressures, injuries, money, fame and their own internal struggles—for a chance to win $200,000 and the title of best street-skateboarder in the world.
About the filmmaker: I'm an American film director, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker from Virginia. I went to NYU, I directed my first feature at the age of 23, went to Sundance with a few features, spent a year on the road with Lil Wayne directing "The Carter" and now I mentor at the Sundance Native lab and help young filmmakers realize their dreams while also living out mine.
What else do you want audiences to know about your film? It's a fun film for people of all ages, and it's for anyone into sports or competition!
What was your biggest challenge in developing this project? Getting all 8 finalists on board. These are the 8 best pro street-skateboarders in the world. It was tough, but for the movie to work we needed all 8. We did it.
What would you like Tribeca audiences to come away with after seeing your film? Exhausted from the nail-biting tension at the climax of the film, sitting on their edge of their seats screaming "who's gonna win!" but relieved and satisfied after it's all over. I would also feel very gratified if this film helps to broaden the conversation about western medicine's approach to healing and pain management.
Did any specific films inspire you? "When We Were Kings." A great documentary about the legendary Ali/Foreman fight in Zaire.
What do you have in the works? Another few documentaries, and a feature called Cruisin' for a Bruisin' with producers Ed Pressman & Jason Blum that's set up at WWE Films.
Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.
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