Upstart Brawler

Created by Ojo Kadir, The Pitch 2018

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David is a tempermental, young boxer whose promising career is cut short after being the victim of a stabbing in a gang-related altercation. His search for approval and assertion of his masculinity amongst his peers nearly costs him his life. After months out of the gym, he gains the courage to go back under the mentorship of a tough coach who pushes him beyond his physical and mental limitations. Through this rehabilitation, David's faith in himself is tested which leads him to lash out and almost throw in the towel; putting him at odds with the coach's methods. David believes that the coach has no idea about his world but comes to realise that they both share more than he previously thought. This ultimately gives David the faith and zeal to enter back into the ring and face his toughest opponent yet. The film is a comeback story couched in the context of knife crime in London. It is a life-affirming story that is at odds with the current media narrative and tells an uplifting story of faith, redemption and overcoming great obstacles.

Biblical Connection

1 Samuel 17 – David and Goliath is a classic story that has inspired many throughout film, literature and theatre. It has become a story synonymous of the small overcoming the great. It essentially tells the story of a young man named David whose faith in God and himself leads to him defeating the giant Philistine Goliath and become the King of the Israelites. In our story, David is a young cocky boxer with dreams of making a professional career from his craft but his arrogance is that of Goliath proportions, resulting in him being stabbed. This forces David to rethink and dedicate his life to boxing, though he knows it won't be easy. David is training to get back into the ring – his metaphorical Goliath – and face his toughest opponent yet – a physical Goliath. The Coach represents God who constantly tests David in all manner of ways that could push him away but instead strengthens his faith in himself and his abilities to get back into the ring and fight Goliath. In the end, we cut to a few years in the future with David running the boxing gym and training the local kids.