Two Escobars directors (and brothers) Jeff and Michael Zimbalist are about to start shooting their latest feature documentary set in the world of Mixed Martial Arts and the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Shooting in digital 3D, the film follows a young MMA fighter from the Santo Amaro favela in Rio as he faces the biggest professional challenge of his career by fighting his way out of poverty and onto the international stage of the world’s fastest growing and most violent combat sport.
A host of Brazilian MMA fighters will feature in the film, along with Rio’s elite armed police division BOPE as they carry out raids to pacify the favelas in the run up to the forthcoming 2012 World Cup.
The documentary is being produced by Benjamin Bush of Involve Media LTD and Josephine Rose of Bandit Country in partnership with LA company 3ality LLC, who are providing the 3D element of production.
Bush, a self confessed MMA fan who also trained in the sport, came up with the concept for the documentary and approached Jeff Zimbalist after seeing his previous documentary Favela Rising. He is currently in talks with Brazilian co-producers and financiers, with production due to get underway this month at the Shooto Brazil MMA fight in the Santo Amaro favela.
“Both the sport of MMA and the favelas translate exceptionally well into 3D. It’s going to be an incredible experience and the 3D will bring home the physical reality of that world,” said Bush, whose background is in 3D mastering for films.
“There is also a correlation between what has been happening in London, with the lack of social and housing projects here and what has happened in Rio. A sport like MMA is a great way to channel that energy.”