The FIGHTING SPIRIT FILM FESTIVAL is back with a Vengeance, Debt Collecting with the Karate Kid 2, yes, yes, we know it’s time for Enter The Dragon, it’s been time for 45 years.
All ready for you 14th & 15th September, Stratford Picture House, London
At WoMA.tv we love all action, martial movies so when there’s a Film Festival dedicated to them we are going to be there in the front row. Luckily we can get there, it’s in London and so are we, maybe they’ll take it on tour around the world; look out Sydney, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Toyko, Shanghai, Mumbai, Cape Town, Nairobi, Lagos, Casablanca, Rome, Paris, Moscow… well maybe next year.
In the meantime get lucky & get in or get the Blu Ray and hope they bring this celebration of kickass, fight fu to you one day. Check the link out; Fighting Spirit Film Festival (FSFF)
GET MORE FIGHTING SPIRIT FILM FESTIVAL
by Ramon Youseph
Getting into the Fighting Spirit
If you’re looking for an all action film festival to satisfy your craving for intense visceral explosive fun and bone crunching kick-ass fight-fu look no further than the Fighting Spirit Film Festival (FSFF). One of the few major events around the world dedicated to celebrating the best and brightest in martial arts action cinema, Fighting Spirit is the new kid on the block and like many underdog protagonists in some of our favourite films, it has kicked and punched its way onto the scene and made a crowd pleasing stunning impact.
THE FSFF FUTURE IS BRIGHT
In just over two years FSFF has proven itself as a high level group bringing the best of martial arts action to its fans. The third festival is set to be bigger than the last with a two day event packed with explosive premiers, big names (including Scott Adkins, Jesse V Johnson, cast and crew of “I am Vengeance”), and rising talent from not just the UK but around the world. This year’s awards will also feature five categories that recognise not just films and choreography but also acting, direction and documentary filmmaking, all in keeping with its mission to promote and celebrate action cinema. One thing is for sure, Soo and the team behind the Fighting Spirit Film Festival have risen through the ranks to claim their black belt in film festival, and for the team their journey is only just beginning.
Kicking into Action
The FSFF is the brainchild of a group of professional martial arts and film enthusiasts who wanted to celebrate and show martial arts and action movies on the big screen, especially those that don’t always get a break. The crew includes co-founder and director of Fighting Spirit Soo Cole, Assistant Director Weng Yu, and Tech Sifu Tim Mills. Working in conjunction with partners such as Paul Alderson of Fighters Inc. Magazine, Soo and the team fixed their one day event to be held on 16th July 2016 at the Cineworld Multiplex in Greenwich, London.
The program consisted of three feature films; Drunken Master (The Classic), Ip Man 3 (The Current) and Kung Fu Panda 3 (The Family), along with 12 short films initially designed to replace the adverts and trailers normally preceding a feature film. However the depth and quality of the “Shorts”, dominated the day shining a spotlight on the best actors, stunt performers and film directors of the genre. This opened up the door for the first Fighting Spirit Film Awards that featured the following year.
As well as cinematic action the event included some jaw dropping martial arts displays including the Indian “Gatka” martial arts style as well as classical Shaolin forms from the London’s famous Shaolin Temple. This heady mix of live demonstrations and big screen action hit the target setting the template for future festivals and plans laid for another celebration of action cinema.
Keeping the Genre Alive
For the second festival, the Fighting Spirit Team looked to crowdfunding to help meet their costs and in no time at all received over 100% of their £2000 target, and the Boleyn Theatre in London played host to another successful festival, with a few surprises. Whilst the format remained the same, the line-up of films featured not only a couple of classics including the original “Karate Kid”, and Shaw Brothers epic “36th Chamber of Shaolin” but also a charity screening of “IP Man: The Final Fight” starring Anthony Won, and FSFF’s first premier event, the screening of “Re:Born” starring Tak Sakaguchi.
The short films segment returned but this time in bigger numbers, with double the number of previous year’s entrants cementing the festival’s position as a major contender for the biggest and best in its division. With the launch of its Short Film Awards on this day FSFF leapt into the air of epic status recognising and honouring the best of martial arts filmmaking talent. These included internet action sensation Eric Jacobus as blind warrior Walter in the “Best Short Film” winning “Blindsided”. Rising star Beau Fowler’s “Express Delivery” (soon to be made into a feature film) was awarded Best Action Choreography whilst Leif Johnson won the Audience Choice Vote with his homage to John Woo’s Heroic Bloodshed and Hong Kong action cinema that is “Kowloon Killers”. Fighting Spirit went from a cinematic celebration to champions of martial arts action talent attracting support and praise from Eric Jacobus – who in his acceptance speech thanked the team and the filmmakers for keeping the action genre alive -, UK MMA fighter and reality star Alex Reid, and “Life of Action” author Mike Fury.
The Premier Event
The success of the 2017 festival opened doors for Soo and the Fighting Spirit team in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine. Their reputation reached the eyes and ears of many top names in the business.
The team made a dream come true for UK martial arts star Scott Adkins to premier his dream project – the adaptation of cult UK comic book action ant-hero “Accident Man” – on the big screen before an audience of fans and in Scott’s hometown, Birmingham. Their tenacious spirit to promote the best of established and up and coming martial arts film talent, as well as make it accessible for genre fans, spread across the channel to Spain and beyond.
Team FSFF welcomed on board, long running action festival Iron Dragon TV, from Austin Texas. as co-partners along with Spain’s Noidentity Action Film Festival, who presented FSFF with an honorary award recognising their contribution to promoting action cinema. Other big names recognising FSFF’s passion and drive include MCM ComicCon, distributors “Cine Asia”, “Eureka Entertainment”, and the Shaolin Temple, London to name a few have also signed on as partners ensuring the festivals cinematic chi flows strongly for the third main festival. With their growth in reputation comes an ambition to be bigger and badder, and #FSFF2018 promises to be that..
For more information on their program why not visit their website for more details.