Suffer For Good is my feature film debut and the hardest part about this six-year documentary journey has been writing a director's statement. What do I say? And how do I say it? What can you do to encapsulate a person's life story in 500 words? Or the team that was so integral to making this dollar and dream film a true reality? How do I compel someone to watch Seb Zewdie's intricate story without spoiling the ending?
The first time I wrote a director's statement was in 2018 when I directed/produced Every Other Weekend, a pilot turned web series that eventually sold to Fox. Every Other Weekend was executive produced by Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) and starred Adrienne Carter, Ryan Michelle Bathé (This is Us), Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Vice Principals), Michael Vlamis (Rosewell, NM), and Christian Pierce (Real Bros of Simi Valley).
When I met Seb Zewdie, the subject of Suffer For Good, at his boxing gym, I couldn’t help but want to know the story behind the man. How did he learn how to do finger push-ups? What gave him the enormous scar on the side of his ribs? One feature film later, I’m closer to understanding Seb’s past, but I can’t say that I’ve figured out the finger push-up.
I was, like so many others, fascinated to learn about Seb’s past. Missing out on his Olympic dreams because of the Soviet boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Games is a personal and professional blow that many athletes have never been able to truly move past.
When I met Seb, 31 years later in Los Angeles, he was a highly respected boxing coach who by many people’s standards had achieved professional success – but beyond the surface, remained haunted by his lost opportunity to compete on the world stage in his prime. I was inspired to watch the desire build in him – the desire for redemption, the desire to compete, the desire to prove himself, and his country.
I think this project is important because it will inspire you and make you smile. I think it is important for society to see role models in media who authentically represent the positive philosophy that guides them. Although Seb was not born in this country, he is industrious, compassionate, and portrays his family-first mentality throughout the film – a true personification of the American dream at its finest.
Seb continues to inspire me to overcome adversity in my life and challenge the intrinsic weaknesses we all possess. His overarching ethos of ‘Suffer For Good’ represents going through something tough in order to progress. I believe studying his character and mentality will positively impact others as well.
I am grateful for Seb’s mentorship during the making of this film, but I am even more blessed to call him my friend. This is the story of a man who knows neither victory nor defeat. We hope that you enjoy watching this story as much as we enjoyed making it.
Danny Simmons, Director
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About Suffer For Good
“Suffer For Good inspires and brings audiences together by inserting our view into Seb’s world. In that world, we are reminded that drive and determination are accessible to all of us and can be used to create a better life with what we have. This is a great sports film we are eager for audiences to watch,” Said Nick Royak, Gravitas Ventures Acquisitions Manager.
Danny Simmons makes his directorial debut with Suffer For Good. Simmons states, “Now more than ever, the world needs to hear inspiring stories of a resilient father figure who continues to find internal strength through love and faith. Seb proves that hard work conquers all as we journey with him back into the ring one last time.”
Broken Dove Productions and IDFI Media produced in association with Hi-Def Entertainment. The film was produced by Louis Benjamin Del Guercio, Danny Simmons, David Fisch, and co-produced by Trevor Ward.
Watch the trailer here: https://youtu.be/mOUN5-4zFcA
Vimeo OnDemand: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/sufferforgood
Sony Playstation: link not available; title confirmed live via Playstation Movies app
About Broken Dove Productions
Broken Dove, is a leading producer and distributor of sports documentaries, scripted comedy, and broadcast commercials. Founded in 2020, Broken Dove is in production on three other documentaries set to release in 2021. For more information, please visit www.brokendove.com
create meaningful content
support diverse voices and story
inspire engagement and craftsmanship
focus on the process and help others along the way
About Gravitas Ventures
Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, is a leading all rights distributor of independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America - over one billion homes worldwide. Recent releases include Score: A Film Music Documentary; California Typewriter; Legion of Brothers; Katie Holmes’ feature directorial debut; All We Had, Colin Hanks’ All Things Must Pass; Being Evel from Academy Award-winning director Daniel Junge and producer Johnny Knoxville; and For The Love of Spock from Director Adam Nimoy.
For more information, please visit gravitasventures.com, and follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.
About Red Arrow Studios
Red Arrow Studios is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of entertainment content. Red Arrow Studios is comprised of 20 production companies in seven territories, including 10 companies based in the United States; world-leading multi-platform digital network Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures.
The group’s significant output includes scripted, non-scripted and formatted content and IP, from TV and film to short-form and branded content, made for an array of global networks and platforms.
Red Arrow Studios is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, one of Europe's leading media groups. For more information, please visit: www.redarrow.tv