The Tribeca Film Festival today announced that the drama Redbelt, written and directed by David Mamet, will have its world premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, presented by American Express. Redbelt will also serve as the Gala premiere of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. Redbelt, a Sony Pictures Classics presentation, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Emily Mortimer, Alice Braga and Tim Allen. The premiere will take place on Friday, April 25. The Festival will run from April 23 through May 4.
"Mamet has a brilliant voice," said Jane Rosenthal, co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host the premiere of his latest film Redbelt at this year's festival, where it will also be the gala of the ribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival."
"I am a fan of both the fight film and the samurai film. Redbelt is my homage to both. I hope you enjoy it," said David Mamet.
"We are pleased to be the Gala Premiere of the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. ESPN is the right fit for the world of mixed martial arts that David Mamet has brought to the big screen," said Michael Barker, Co-President, Sony Pictures Classics Redbelt tells the story of Mike Terry (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the chief instructor at the Southside Jiu-jitsu Academy. Although a talented fighter, he refuses to compete in professional bouts: "Competition weakens the fighter." Instead, he trains dedicated students in the art of self-defense: bodyguards, cops, and soldiers. At his brother-in-law's club one evening, Mike saves famous action star Chet Frank (Tim Allen) from a severe beating. His defense of Frank leads to a job in the film industry, but other events conspire to force Mike to participate in a prize fight. An American samurai film set in the world of mixed martial arts, David Mamet's Redbelt is a story about the limits of a single man's integrity. Written and directed by David Mamet, Redbelt is produced by Chrisann Verges. The film will be released in New York and LA on May 2nd, and nationally on May 9th.
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Randy Couture in the same film. How's that for grabbing the zeitgiest by the throat? I hope in gets into theatres here.
That said, I think this quote is pretty much baloney:
He said that the training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for "Redbelt" helped him prepare for Othello."
"Because they are submission bouts in Jiu-jitsu," he said today when he came by the MPR studios. "There is no time limit, so if you go into the ring with an opponent, nobody knows how long the contest is going to last."
Ejiofor says he learned how to conserve energy, and then use it in short bursts, which was vital for the Othello run where they were doing 8 shows a week.
"You'd literally be cleaning off the blood and then you'd be going back to put the first act costume on. It was kind of insane," he laughed. "So the thing that I took through was it was all about endurance, and all of Jiu-Jitsu is about endurance, about being able to train your body to withstand."
BJJ is still unlikely to be on the curriculum at RADA any time soon I think.