Fencer stories still touching moviegoers

Writer/Producer/Director George Adams hasn’t lost momentum since premiering Touché: A Blind Fencer’s Story at the 2013 Big Bear Lake International Film Festival. His 58-minute documentary has spent 2014 screening in cities around the world, and picking up recognition along the way.

The latest of these include winning 2nd Place in the Best Documentary Feature category at the Seattle Truly Independent Film Festival (May 10), and the award for Best Short Documentary at the Madrid International Film Festival (July 19).

An award-winning fencer himself, Adams spent nearly two years chronicling how practicing this Olympic sport instills confidence in blind or partially blind men and women. One such person is single mother Catherine Bolton, who the producer describes as a strong woman able to prevail over the challenges of vision loss and raising a troubled teenager. Adams says it’s partly that appeal of a struggling underdog that explains the movie’s positive reception.

“I think the film touches (to use the phrase) so many because we can all empathize with overcoming adversity that life throws our way. The film touches a core fear, that the sighted community has, of losing one's vision. ‘How would I... how could I... survive?’ We, in fact, do survive. These fencers move beyond their obstacle of no or low vision and show the sighted community (and others within the blind community) that there is a quality of life even without sight. Adversity can be overcome, if you get out there and do it.”

Teaming up again with Adams on this production is Second-unit Director, Klaudia Kovacs, who previously worked with him on the international award-winning documentaries Panic Nation and Torn From the Flag. The latter was a collaboration with cinematographers Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, two legends that Adams cites as among his greatest influences, and who were previously honored at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival.

Vanessa Finney
August 27, 2014