Filmmaker Shaun Paul Piccinino (The Lackey) was one of the earlier prospects I’d become familiar with since the dawn of this website over at Blogger, and so it feels absolutely rewarding to be discussing his latest feature film at Lionsgate, American Fighter.
The film had its debut at Fantasia International Film Festival in 2019 when I was able to acquire a virtual screening of it to review. Needless to say, I dug it, and having since made headway with its releases, including via Signature in the UK, it’s now in Lionsgate’s hands this week with plans to roll the film out in select theaters and wherever movies can be rented beginning May 21, before releasing on Blu-ray and DVD May 25.
The move here on Lionsgate’s part also signals the studio’s favor with actor Sean Patrick Flanery whose empassioned mixed-martial arts sport drama, Born A Champion, also released under the same banner earlier this year. It’s been a fantastic time to see Flanery surge ahead as he has, and with his name tacked onto a supporting role opposite lead actor George Kosturos in his spiritual character reprisal from Alex Ranarivelo’s American Wrestler: The Wizard, moviegoers will be in for a nice little treat.
The film also stars the incredible Tommy Flanagan (“Sons of Anarchy”), along with Brett Craig, Allison Paige, Salome Azizi and Kevin Porter.
Desperate for cash to save his deathly ill mother, college wrestler Ali (George Kosturos, American Wrestler: The Wizard) enters the hidden world of underground fighting. Ali shows promise but, lacking skills, he gets beaten bloody. Duke (Sean Patrick Flanery The Boondock Saints), a troubled handler, takes pity on the boy and trains him to be a fierce competitor—but is it enough to make Ali a winner?