Photo by F(l)ag Football the Movie
The feature length documentary follows a group of openly gay competitive flag football players as they train and prepare for the 2016 Gay Bowl in Phoenix, which is also known as the National Gay Flag Football Championships. The documentary includes footage from competitive games, tournaments, on/off field relationships and interviews diving into the personal stories of the players to share how flag football has impacted their lives.
The documentary shows the culture and spirit of flag football and offers “a portrait of stereotype-breaking athletes wrestling with complex identities and team dynamics, all while competing in 90-plus degree heat for the chance to be crowned champions. With everything on the line, some teams will come together, and others will show their cracks, but everyone will have a chance to play out, play proud, and show the world that being gay is not a limitation in any arena, and certainly not in sports.”
The film had quite a tour on the film festival circuit, including being an “official selection” at the Phoenix Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, Desperado LGBT Film Festival, Boston LGBT Film Festival and the Bend Film Festival. It won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the qFLIX Philadelphia Film Festival as well. The film has also received positive reviews from audiences and critics alike.
“These are talented, hard-working and masculine football players who happen to be gay. Their sexuality is part of who they are but it isn’t the only thing that defines them. One of the movie’s chief successes is that as the movie goes on we begin to realize that these aren’t just gay men; they’re men period.” ~Cinema 365
“It’s a film that seeks to tell a story about athletes – these particular athletes – and the personal sacrifices they’ve made to be able to play the sport they love. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a film that shatters stereotypes about both athletes and gay men, and gives the world an image of gay men that has never really been showcased before.” ~Rolling Stone
By Dirk Smith