Mixed Martial Arts, like many other professional sports, has a large amount of success stories woven into its intricate fabric. This is a sport that has allowed men and women to come up out of virtually nothing and find their place in the world and get their name in the history books. And one of the most inspiring stories simply has to be that of Matt Hamill, a four-year, eleven-fight veteran of the UFC that overcame deafness and has been considered a consistent threat since his debut in the world’s largest Mixed Martial Arts organization. Recently, the independent film “Hamill”, a “biopic” based on Matt Hamill’s early life, won a very important indy film award. Here are all the details.
MMA Fighting reports that “Hamill” was given the “Breakthrough” award at the prestigious American Film Institute Film Festival in Los Angeles, California. The article also states that the film was recognized as a “Hidden Gem” by the Los Angeles Times. Germain Lussier of slashfilm.com recently put up a review of the film, calling it “a unique spin on the classic, tried and true sports formula of one person trumping over the competition” that “manages to simultaneously inspire and entertain.”
Although I do agree with the sentiments that “Hamill” follows the basic “sports film formula”, it definitely sounds unique for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the simple fact that Matt Hamill has such an interesting life story. He’s battled through all kinds of adversity, and it looks like the film captures that perfectly. I’ve only seen the trailer, but I really have nothing negative to say about the film. It seems to do a great service to Matt Hamill, it’s a truly inspiring story, and it looks well-acted with some really good scenic shots.
And to be perfectly honest, this is exactly the kind of film Mixed Martial Arts needs right now. I don’t know how much pressure that puts on this film, but I think “Hamill” has the potential to change how the mainstream views Mixed Martial Arts if it becomes successful and lands a distribution deal. What we need is for film makers to start taking this sport seriously, to realize that the true-life stories of this sport far outweigh and outmatch the stories most writers could come up with, especially given the roles most Mixed Martial Arts stars find themselves in nowadays.
Because to be honest, what we’ve gotten so far (for the most part) is a slew of cheaply-made, utterly atrocious direct-to-DVD movies about laughably bad plots that are horribly acted, horribly shot, and for the most part, just plain horrible. I’m tired of seeing MMA fighters in throw-away roles just so would-be filmmakers can try to cash in on the MMA craze that’s sweeping the mainstream.
A film like “Hamill” takes this sport seriously, it shines a bright light on the men and women that make this sport so unique and enjoyable to watch. I would hate for this movie to go silently into the night while so many cliché action movie schlock-fests continue to be produced, so I’ll continue to support “Hamill” for as long as it takes. Because a lot of good really could happen if the masses get to give this film a try.
And what about you, fans and friends? Do you think a film like this would be accepted in the mainstream, and what would it do for MMA if it were?