Arm Bar (2016)
A young, aspiring MMA fighter, visits her local boxing gym to settle a dispute with the owner.
*Currently on festival circuit. Not yet available to watch online. "Arm Bar" on the blog.
The idea for "Arm Bar" originated after reading an article about the life of Ronda Rousey, and how her mother would teach her how to defend herself by executing the move on her at an early age. I thought of how that visually would have been a great opening scene to a film, both visceral and empowering. Although that wasn't the actual story I wanted to tell, it gave me inspiration to explore a strong and complex woman who would seek to thrive in a world that's dominated by men.
The reason why I chose boxing and mixed martial arts opposed to any other sport is because I grew up watching matches on HBO and films like Rocky, Million Dollar Baby, The Fighter, Girl Fight, etc. I was never into many sports as kid, but I took a keen interest in boxing in particular that carried over into MMA when the UFC began. I personally felt compelled to tell this type of story because I can relate with its subject matter. At its core, the film is about a young woman who is forced to grow up too fast due to conflicts in her home life.
We jumped into production for the film in early December of 2016. I knew that I wanted to have a subtle political commentary behind the context of the story, and realized during production, while seeing my cast and crew on edge about the incoming results of the election, that this was very much a product of us fantasizing about the outcome. It was settling in on us that the person most fit to lead our country could lose the race, and I think that uneasiness was a force in itself on set. I'm very proud of everything we achieved on a small budget and a shared vision of inclusive and unique storytelling.
Screenings & Awards
*2017 Chain NYC Film Festival
*DAMN Film Series (September 2017)
Ryan Barger & Victoria Wallace
Full Cast & Crew: IMDB