For the Last 60 Years, the Term “Jewish Boxer” Has Been an Oxymoron.
That’s About to Change…
THIS NOVEMBER, STEP INTO THE RING WITH INDIEPIX® FOR A KNOCK-OUT VERITÉ DOCUMENTARY FOLLOWING PROFESSIONAL BOXING CHAMP, RUSSIAN IMMIGRANT AND RELIGIOUS JEW DMITRIY SALITA
From an Amateur Gym in the Projects to a White House Hannukah Celebration, from a Boisterous Pro Title Fight to Intimate Torah Study, This Acclaimed Festival Favorite, a Colorful Juxtaposition of Seemingly Incompatible Cultures and Characters,
Makes its DVD Debut on November 25 for $24.95SRP
NEW YORK, NY — For the last 60 years, the term “Jewish boxer” has been an oxymoron. But don’t tell that to Dmitriy Salita, a 24 year-old Russian immigrant, who’s currently making history as a top professional boxer — and a rigorously observant Jew. ORTHODOX STANCE, from director Jason Hutt, provides an intimate, 3-year long look at the trials and tribulations faced by Dmitriy, juxtaposed against the seemingly incompatible cultures and characters working together to support his rare and remarkable devotion to both Orthodox Judaism and professional boxing. A Critic’s Pick of both The New York Times and New York Magazine, ORTHODOX STANCE, called, “a damn good boxing documentary ” enters the home entertainment ring on DVD on November 25 for $24.95SRP…only from IndiePix®.
Traveling with Dmitriy from his home in the Russian section of Brooklyn to a dilapidated Orthodox synagogue, from a Black and Hispanic amateur gym in the projects to boxing’s biggest stages in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Puerto Rico, ORTHODOX STANCE is a fascinating study in diversity. With intimate verité scenes of torah study, prayer, and keeping kosher and observing the Sabbath on the road contrasted with training, weigh-ins, business negotiations and locker room and fight footage, the film reveals a first-of-its kind insider’s view of professional boxing — and a first-of-a kind professional boxer. Along the way, audiences are also introduced to a variety of colorful characters that teach and guide Dmitriy as he negotiates the tensions between boxing and Judaism: Rabbi Zalman Liberov teaches him how to be a good Jew and sees him as a model of religious conviction in a secular world.
Promoter Bob Arum and his company, Top Rank, see a talented prospect with great marketing potential. And after 10 years of educating Dmitriy about boxing and life, and a prominent career dedicated to amateurs, his 80 year-old Black trainer Jimmy O’ Pharrow sees his last, best chance to produce a professional champion.
The film offers unusual behind-the-scenes access to Dmitriy and his crew for 3 critical years, tracing his maturation in the gym, with the press, at fights, business meetings and speaking engagements. At the same time, it explores important aspects of Dmitriy’s identity and backstory — how Jimmy’s boxing gym gave him sanctuary as a young immigrant, how Dmitriy found God through boxing, became observant after his mother died, and how she asked Jimmy to look after her son for her. Jimmy’s age will force him to delegate responsibility to other trainers and as Dmitriy matures, Jimmy teaches him to be his own boss. Along the way, the up-and-coming pro will find additional trainers to learn from, leave Bob Arum for a New York-based promoter in order to grow his fan base, and guides the negotiations for a new long-term contract.
After 4 years and 22 professional fights, ORTHODOX STANCE culminates with Dmitriy fighting for his first professional title in front of a rabid crowd of boxing fans and Orthodox Jews at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom. And, following his knock-out victory, Dmitriy exits the ring, knowing that he has solidified his credentials as not only a professional boxer, but as a modern-day Jewish sports hero. Ultimately, more than just a film about boxing and religion, ORTHODOX STANCE — an Official Selection at the prestigious 2007 Silverdocs Festival and the 2007 Sarasota and San Francisco Jewish Film Festivals — tells a universal story of a young man’s search for meaning in life.
About the Director
Jason Hutt (Director/Producer/Cameraman/Editor) grew up in Potomac, after graduating with honors from Harvard University in 1999, and participating in the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium, Hutt worked in Hollywood as an assistant to Academy Award-nominated director/producer Mike Tollin on sports-related feature films such as SUMMER CATCH, HARDBALL and READY TO RUMBLE. In 2001 Mr. Hutt returned to non-fiction filmmaking to make BREEZEWOOD, PENNSYLVANIA that premiered as the opening night film at the Georgetown Independent Film Festival in August 2002 where it won Best Cinema Verite’. After additional US and international film festival screenings it was broadcast by PBS affiliates in Spring 2004. In ORTHODOX STANCE, Hutt has drawn on his passion for sports to create a portrait of a different kind of cultural crossroads.
INDIEPIX is a distributor that delivers a highly-curated collection of the best independent films from around the world. Offering a hand-picked catalog of over 3,000 independent film gems – arthouse, foreign, and documentary – the IndiePix team selects the best titles from the international festival circuit. Avenues for distribution include IndiePix’ patented Download-to-Own technology, delivery of DVD by mail, and theatrical.
Orthodox Stance: Official Film Website: http://www.orthodoxstance.com
IndiePix: IndiePix Home Page: http://indiepixfilms.com