March 18 – 29
At Tower City
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Run Time: 102 minutes
In small town America, high-school football is everything. For the players, it provides notoriety and a possible ticket to a bigger world. For the community, it's a source of pride. Filmed in Canton, Ohio, UNDERDOGS focuses on the Knights, a lousy team who've become an easy target for jokes. Just when they begin to give up hope, a new coach arrives, helping the lovable losers see their true potential. At the same time, quarterback Bobby Burkett falls in love with a cheerleader from a rival team, the Vikings. This enrages Vikings' star, John Hanford, a bratty rich kid who has his eye on the same girl. Meanwhile, Bobby's father is waging his own war with Hanford's dad, whose crooked corporation is suing him over an invention he patented. UNDERDOGS ventures deeper than most films in the sports genre. Using football as a backdrop, director Doug Dearth has crafted a heartwarming film. Its message of believing in yourself, no matter the odds, will inspire the underdog in all of us. – E.F.
Doug Dearth, Tom Rooker, Bill Fishman
DB Sweeney, William Mapother, Richard Portnow, Logan Huffman, Maddie Hassen
Doug Dearth grew up in Canton, Ohio and moved to Los Angeles, California in the late 90s to pursue a career in film. He began as an assistant to John Cusack, while landing small gigs as an actor himself. In addition, he's worked as a writer, producer, music supervisor, and eventually, director. His documentary "9000 Needles" won the audience award for Best Picture at the Phoenix Film Festival.
"9000 Needles" (2009) – 34th CIFF, UNDERDOGS (2012)
One In A Row Films