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The Independent Critic

Jerrick Jones and young boxers from the City of Albany youth boxing program
Imani Peterkin and Darian Henry
8 Mins.


 "Inside the Ring" a Nicely Done Student Short 

A short documentary that tells the story of Albany's city youth boxing program through the sights and sounds of the gym and the words of longtime coach Jerrick Jones and the program's aspiring young boxers, Inside the Ring is an eight-minute film that practically begs to be a full-length documentary given the charisma of its central subject and the enthusiasm of the young boxers. Co-directed by Imani Peterkin and Darian Henry, Inside the Ring is a finalist in the 2014 Heartland Film Festival High School Film Competition and one of only a couple of short docs to make this year's cut. Similar in tone to a full-length doc feature at this festival, Inside the Ring is actually a vastly superior film in just about every way mostly due to the ability of Peterkin and Henry to truly capture the spirit and meaning behind the program they are portraying.

The film premiered in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival and is likely to  be loved by anyone who appreciates inspirational sports stories or simply a really good and really true story about boxing and how it does truly help these youths. The film also picked up Best High School Film at the Washington DC Independent Film Festival. For me, part of what made this such a memorable documentary was that Peterkin and Henry aren't content to simply tell a sports story, but they get to the heart of the matter and prove, even to this boxing cynic, that the sport can truly make a difference in the lives of those who participate.

If you get a chance to check out the 2014 High School Film Competition screenings, you really owe it to yourself to take a look at these up-and-coming filmmakers.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic