Last year Cincinnati-based director Mark Hood's documentary Hardface premiered at the inaugural Cindependent Film Festival. This Saturday, Aug. 3, audiences will have a second chance to catch it at the Esquire Theatre at 7 p.m.
Shot entirely on 16 millimeter film, the feature-length doc follows fighter-turned-trainer Richard "Hardface" Mason as he begins to train boxers at Mount Healthy's Northside Boxing Gym. Following its premiere, the feature was awarded CIFF's "Best of the Fest." This year, it will serve as a run-up to the festival, which unfolds Aug. 29-31.
The gym was founded by John Falcone and, as stated in the film's press release, the gym has run a boxing program for over 30 years for "youth escaping life on the streets, hoping for a shot as professional fighters." Mason trained under Falcone himself — and has been a part of the family ever since. Aside from Mason, Hardface also closely follows the lives of lightweight David Carlton, heavyweight Chris Crockett and other fighters at the gym.
The idea for the film itself first came to fruition as Hood observed a training session at the Northside Boxing Gym in the summer of 2012.
"There have been some great documentaries surrounding the sport of boxing, and after I met the Falcones and learned about the Northside Boxing Gym, I felt their story was an untold yet important chapter in American boxing history," Hood says in the release.
Hood will be in attendance at a Q&A session will follow the screening. Tickets can be bought at esquiretheatre.com.