By Brian Brooks | Indiewire August 4, 2011 at 10:34AM
North American theatrical, DVD and VOD rights to writer/producer/director Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker's mixed martial arts doc "Fightville" have been acquired by MPI Media Group. The SXSW '11 feature will have a late fall theatrical release is planned, to be followed by release on DVD and Video on Demand.
Full acquisitions release follows:
MPI Media Group today announced it has North American theatrical, DVD and VOD rights to "Fightville," a compelling new documentary about the phenomenon of mixed martial arts and the people battling for success in this brutal sport. A late fall theatrical release is planned, to be followed by release on DVD and Video on Demand. "Fightville" is a pepper&bones production written, produced and directed by Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker ("Gunner Palace," "How to Fold a Flag"). The distribution deal was negotiated by Greg Newman, Executive VP of MPI Media Group, and Josh Braun of Submarine.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) has surpassed boxing in popularity, thanks to its no-holds-barred style of personal combat. "Fightville" chronicles the story of a minor league MMA promotion run by Gil "The Thrill" Guillory in Lafayette, Louisiana - a place where, for many, fighting is as much ritual as it is sport. The area around Lafayette, which includes a neighborhood that is the namesake of the film, has no shortage of up-and-coming competitors willing to claw their way out of the dusty rodeo arenas of Louisiana to the big lights of Las Vegas.
Many of them train with veteran Ultimate Fighting Championship star "Crazy" Tim Credeur at his Gladiators Academy, where he seeks to "build better men" while developing champion fighters. One of those fighters, Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier, quickly became the focus of the film after a series of dramatic victories. His story forms the movie's backbone.
"The first time we saw Dustin fight, we were immediately taken with him," says co-director Michael Tucker. "You could tell that the kid was going places. More than just fighting, 'Fightville' is about what it takes to be the best at anything." Adds Tucker, "We hope that "Fightville" will introduce a wider audience to the beauty and passion of MMA while elevating the mainstream perception of the sport."
"Mixed martial arts is the fastest-growing sport in the world and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with MPI to bring "Fightville" to a theatrical audience," said co-director Petra Epperlein.
MPI's Greg Newman added, "'Fightville' is an amazing and revealing look at this sports phenomenon, and we are excited to play a part in showing fans what goes on behind the scenes. Anyone who questions the validity off MMA as a sport needs to see this film. Michael and Petra have crafted an unforgettable sports documentary that delivers a fascinating look in to the world of these young athletes who put their lives, careers and families on the line in pursuit of greatness."
About MPI Media Group
Chicago based MPI Media Group is a market leader for high quality releases to both wide and specialized audiences through home video distribution. Founded in 1976, MPI Home Video remains one of the largest independent companies in the world - producing and distributing a compelling slate of the world's most respected cinema, documentaries, performances and television programs.