KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 43: Fighting Spirit Film Festival 2019

Posted in Podcasts by - September 23, 2019
KFMG Podcast S04 Episode 43: Fighting Spirit Film Festival 2019

“This festival is very important because it puts people who have the same passion in the same place in a fantastic environment. It’s so warm; it’s like a family.” Max Repossi

We have been reporting from the Fighting Spirit Film Festival since it started back in 2016. Now in its fourth year, the event has grown to become the UK’s largest martial arts film festival; a two-day celebration which welcomes some of the genre’s biggest names and best talent. As well as screening some of the hottest new feature films from around the world, the festival also provides an opportunity for up-and-coming, independent filmmakers to have their movies shown on the big screen. This spirit of collaboration and inclusivity strikes at the heart of what makes the festival such an inspiring event.

Four feature films were screened at the 2019 Fighting Spirit Film Festival, including the Vietnamese superhero movie Lôi Báo, Jesse V. Johnson‘s The Mercenary, Zhang Yimou’s wuxia masterpiece, Hero, and 88 Films’ new 4K master of the Hong Kong action classic, Dragons Forever. There were martial arts demonstrations, merchandise stalls, and awards handed out to the people behind the festival’s diverse collection of short films. We didn’t get to mention all of them by name in this episode, so find a full list of all the short films shown at this year’s event below, plus links for more information.

  • Agent Wu – The Script (2019); directed by Kai Jansen
  • Budokai-do (2018); directed by A’an Yayak
  • Dead End II: A Justified Kill (2019); directed by Bryan Larkin, Carter Ferguson – winner of Best Cinematography (Thomas Sandfield)
  • Duchess (2019); directed by Keir Siewert
  • Every Time (2019); directed by Mauro Zingarelli
  • Fear of the Lotus (2018); directed by Patricia García Buenaventura
  • Fight Back (2019); directed by Loren Trabelsi
  • Ichi-Jinn (2019); directed by Mika Abe
  • The Kid (2018); directed by Nicholas Wenger – winner of Best Director (Nicholas Wenger)
  • Kiwami: The Finale (2019); directed by Jon Alagoa
  • Koan (2013); directed by Omar Rabuñal Varela, Daniel Viqueira
  • Loyalty (2018); directed by Grant Snaith, Simon Giles-Rowling
  • Mad Lord – Samurai of 1000 Deaths (2019); directed by Samuel Smith
  • The Memory of Ink (2019); directed by Mark Kamara
  • The Misadventures of Lefty Deadeye (2019); directed by Marco Sinigaglia
  • No Way Out (2018); directed by Max Huang – winner of Best Short, Best Actor (Max Huang), Best Action Choreography
  • Oregu (2018); directed by Marina Ivaniceva
  • Ronin (2018); directed by John Do
  • Second Breath (2019); directed by Jean-Philippe Nadeau-Marcoux, Maxime Laurin
  • Sensei Fran Kicks Ass (2019); directed by Simone Fary – winner of Best Documentary, Audience Choice Award (Day 2)
  • Shoguns of Gymbox (2019); directed by Michael Hoad
  • 10 Minutes for a Pound (2019); directed by Jadey Duffield, Linda Louise Duan – winner of Best Actress (Linda Louise Duan)
  • Tiger Claw (2019); directed by James Cotton – winner of Audience Choice Award (Day 1)
  • Whirlpool (2018); directed by Brian Stynes
  • Wildflower (2019); directed by Jumai Yusuf

This episode was recorded live at this year’s festival and features conversations with a number of key people involved in the martial arts movie scene, from established stars to talented young actors and filmmakers destined to become the next big thing. On this show, you will hear from the creator of the Fighting Spirit Film Festival, Soo Cole; Tiger Claw star and wushu expert, Leslie Kunz; the filmmaker and martial artist, Beau Fowler; the writers, directors and stars of 10 Minutes for a Pound, Linda Louise Duan and Jadey Duffield; the Hong Kong film expert and head of Eastern Heroes, Ricky Baker; the Italian martial arts actor, Max Repossi; one of the producers behind the Dead End series, Daniella Dahoui; and the team behind British zombie action flick, Tribal: Get Out Alive, the director Matt Routledge and its star Zara Phythian.

Listen as they describe what the Fighting Spirit Film Festival means to them, as well as answering a series of quick-fire questions stolen from the rather brilliant Artists Behind the Action podcast, produced by 87eleven Action Design. A huge thank you to Soo Cole, the Fighting Spirit team and all of the staff at Stratford Picturehouse for their help with this episode. Visit fightingspritfilmfestival.com for more information, and follow the team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Stills from some of the short films…

10 Minutes for a Pound

The Kid


Mad Lord – Samurai of 1000 Deaths

Tiger Claw

Dead End II: A Justified Kill

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

1 Comment

  • Clayre

    Really good write up Ben… looking forward to listening to podcast 👊🏾