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A young boxer guides his protégé through his past growing up in the South Side of Chicago.

Boxing has been at the forefront of sports movies from the very beginning, and that’s because the stories often grow from underdog characters fighting their way through life obstacles, simultaneously imaging their sport. ‘Ivry’ takes a deeper look at the backstory of a young boxer, as he guides his protégé through his past growing up in the South Side of Chicago. This documentary has all the dramatic and cinematic styles you’d expect from a Hollywood blockbuster, with the hard knocks true uprising story of amateur boxer Ivry Hall.

I met Ivry four years ago while shooting a series of short docs for a non-profit supporting his boxing gym, the Crushers Club. Four years later and I’m back in Chicago and decided to visit Crushers. I was shocked to find that a lot of the kids I met were no longer involved in the gym. Only a few remained, one of them being Ivry. I learned that a lot of kids had either been killed, incarcerated or fell back into the gangs. Ivry had been to jail multiple times before I met him four years ago, and I wanted to know why he had chosen a different path than all the other kids that had left the gym.

The VO is actually from a conversation I recorded 2 weeks before the shoot between Ivry and his student Elijah. I thought the film would have way more of an impact if it was built from that instead of doing a formal interview with him.

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