Andrew Renzi, who helmed the Dakota Fanning-Theo James drama ‘The Benefactor,’ is directing the doc.
Common is partnering with Argent Pictures, a Los Angeles-based film production and financing outfit, to produce boxing documentary They Fight.
Andrew Renzi is directing the feature, which Argent, run by Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens and Ben Renzo, and Common will now help finance and produce as it begins postproduction.
Also coming on board are Common’s partners at his Freedom Road productions banner: Derek Dudley, Shelby Stone and Melisa Resch.
The documentary follows a group of adolescent boxers and their formerly incarcerated coach in southeast Washington, D.C., on the road to defend their national titles. Inspired by Michael Minahan’s article in The Washington Post, Fight chronicles the story of boxing coach Walt Manigan and his Lyfe Style Boxing after-school boxing program in D.C.’s Ward 8, a community that is considered one of the most dangerous and economically challenged neighborhoods in America.
Most documentaries need to operate on an “it takes a village” approach to be made; with the new partnerships, the list of producers working on Fight has grown to a baker’s dozen. Argent’s Jill Ahrens, Ryan Ahrens and Renzo and Freedom Road’s Common, Dudley, Stone and Resch join Renzi, Minahan, Daniel Yaro, Nick Boak and Chris Burt of Renzi’s North of Now production label, as well as Andrew Corkin of Uncorked Productions.
For Argent, the documentary continues the company’s push into the sports arena. In November the company added NFL quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints, NBA all-star guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, retired NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and retired NBA all-star Michael Finley as partners. The quartet will now act as executive producers on Fight.
Fight is also the latest documentary for Argent, which was behind the acclaimed Netflix feature Chasing Coral, which is making the rounds this awards season.
Said Argent’s Ryan Ahrens in a statement: “There are so many stories in our world today that, if told and shown, can inspire, motivate, educate and move people in positive ways. The story of Walt and his boxers is one of these stories, and we’re proud to help bring this story to the masses through Andrew’s film.”