“What it Takes” A New Film by Debut Director Akkim Lee
This month, our featured film story focuses on debut director and professional fighter, Akkim Lee, who is making the first dramatic short film about female mixed martial artists and the struggles, both physically and emotionally, it takes for them to overcome their fears.
Starring veteran theater actress Katie Schwartz as Simone and the infamous Paulo Tocha, of “Bloodsport” and several other martial arts films, as her Coach Goldmill, “What it Takes” is shooting at Pasadena’s Fight Academy with a full crew and the most advanced camera equipment to shoot mixed martial arts in a realistic and cinematic way that, according to Lee, has never been done before. “You never get the real feel for MMA when you watch martial arts movies,” says Lee. “They aren’t doing the movements correctly, they aren’t going through the real procedures or training. I hope to show the raw world of MMA and do it in a way that hasn’t been looked at: with female fighters.”
“What it Takes” is being produced by veteran producer Jeremy Pollack and newcomer Laura Stockton, who also happens to be Akkim’s girlfriend and a fighter herself. “I was very excited when Akkim proposed the idea of doing a film on women figthers,” says Stockton. “There’s so much that goes into training and so many more women are struggling to get an equal share of the market now. I think it’s important for people to take women seriously when it comes to the fighting arts.”
It’s a modern world with modern fighting and warriors of all genders, so why not? Women do deserve a place in all art forms, even the art of combat. This film aims to give women a voice where they’ve been previously muted and to build up momentum for upcoming world of tough ladies, who would definitely kick my sorry butt!
“What it Takes” is being filmed in August 2013 and will be released to the festival circuit in November. For more info on Akkim Lee’s first film, go to: http://whatittakes-movie.blogspot.com/
-by Jason Hall