How far would you go for the people you love?
That’s the question explored in the Niagara-made film Fight!, which airs June 22 at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.
The film was produced by Jarico Films in support of Jarico Films For Youth, a non-profit film production company that makes films in collaboration with Niagara's youth. The company’s goals is to offer youth an opportunity to gain work experience and confidence for long-term employment.
“All of this is to fulfill our mission of creating more jobs through building a sustainable film industry right here in Niagara,” said the film’s director, Jason Lupish, who lives in St. Catharines.
“The future Sarah Polley's and Steven Spielberg's may be living right here in our own backyard.”
Profits from the premiere night will go to supporting youth in Niagara through Jarico Films.
Lupish said the movie focuses on three women who struggle to make decisions that ultimately result in a series of life-altering changes.
One of the women, played by Erica Sherwood, is a single mom who turns to bare-knuckle fighting to provide for her daughter.
“My character literally fights for her life. She’s not afraid to get in the ring and take a punch,” Sherwood said.
Lupish said the cast spent eight weeks training to prepare for the “gruelling” fight scenes, sometimes taking real hits for the sake of authenticity.
“We wanted it to look authentic, and sometimes that meant taking a real hit.”
He said the film doesn’t necessarily have a hero or villain, though he “guarantees” not everybody will agree.
Part of the effort behind the film was to encourage more females in lead roles, Lupish said.
“The world needs to see more fearless females in lead rolls, especially right now.”
As far as the script, Lupish said it was largely impromptu.
“Ninety percent of the dialogue was written on set by myself and the actors just moments before rolling the camera … It was an experiment in true storytelling, an experiment in art, and we succeeded.”
Fight! will premiere at an exclusive gala screening in St. Catharines on June 22.
The event will see a VIP dinner and profits will go towards supporting youth across Niagara.
Tickets are $45 regular or $250 for a VIP ticket which includes dinner prepared by Chef Eric Peacock of Wellington Court, red carpet access and premium seating.
Tickets can be purchased at, fightfilm.ca/redcarpet.
WHAT: FIGHT! premiere/Red Carpet Gala
WHEN: June 22 at 8 p.m.
WHERE: First Ontario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul St., St.Catharines.