The Cage Fighter

Guests Expected

Director Jeff Unay and subject Joe Carman expected at April 7 and April 10 screenings.


Joe Carman is a 40-year-old family man who has promised his wife and four daughters not to return to competitive mixed martial arts fighting, the dangerous sport that gives him the most complete sense of purpose he's been able to find. Training in secret for an upcoming match, his absences begin to be felt, and a series of crises impact circumstances at home. While it's obvious that Joe is a loving father and husband – scenes at the dinner table or on the couch attest to the mutual affection – the fighting is an addiction he can't seem to shake. Jeff Unay's intimate and sometimes harrowing cinema vérité portrait offers the emotional precision of a Bruce Springsteen song with its story of a blue-collar guy who brutalizes himself to find self-respect, risking his physical health and his personal relationships for one more chance in the ring. Unay captures incredibly intimate moments as Joe strives to bridge the gap between what he needs as a man and what being a husband and father requires. Compulsively watchable, The Cage Fighter packs an emotional wallop that is not easily forgotten.–Michelle Devereaux

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Seattle-based filmmaker Jeff Unay is an accomplished visual effects technician and animator whose work has appeared in Hellboy (2004), King Kong (2005), Charlotte’s Web (2006), The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008), Avatar (2009), and The Adventures of Tintin (2011). His directorial debut, The Cage Fighter was made with support from the Sundance Institute, the Tribeca Film Institute/ESPN Prize, and the Los Cabos International Film Festival’s Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund.
Film Details
  • Premiere status: World
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2017
  • Running time: 82
  • Director(s): Jeff Unay
  • Producer(s): Jeff Unay, James Orara
  • Cinematographer(s): Jeff Unay
  • Editor(s): David Teague
  • Music: Ben Winwood

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