From Simeon Soffer (director of the Academy Award nominated documentary THE WILDEST SHOW IN THE SOUTH) comes the new film FIGHT TO THE MAX, which spotlights the Louisiana Prison Boxing Championships and the trials and tribulations of incarcerated boxers who fight for pride and redemption in one of the country’s harshest penal systems. The film goes deep into life in prison, following boxers from four different prisons as they train in preparation for the Department of Corrections Boxing Championships, an all-out war between the toughest prisoners in the south. Beautifully shot in color and black-and-white 16mm and scored with music provided by the inmates, FIGHT TO THE MAX is both thought-provoking and spiritually uplifting in its message.
Best known for his Academy Award Nominated documentary “The Wildest Show in the South” Simeon Soffer has a rich past as a director/producer and an even more promising future. Starting his journey at NYC’s Vocational High School of Art and Design, Soffer began directing short films in his junior year and graduated with honors in filmmaking. He then went on to California Institute of the Arts and studied film under Jules Engel and went on to win the JVC Student Video Award. After college he entered the film business and quickly joined the growing field of music videos, opening his own production company, and directing over a hundred music videos, and concert films for a vast spectrum of artists, mainstream and avantgarde. Soffer then joined forces with Gabriel Films and began directing documentaries.
His first documentary which he shot in 16mm, “Rodeo Bullfighter” was immediately picked up by The Discovery Channel and gained high ratings for it’s look into the world of rodeo bullfighters. This film led him to the Angola Prison Rodeo in Louisiana, where he was introduced to the importance of using his skills to address social issues in his films. Garnering an Academy Award nomination, the International Documentary Association Award, and an official Sundance Selection got Soffer the funding to bring forth his latest effort “Fight To the Max”. The film is an opus on the Prison Boxing Championships, told through the eyes of a former inmate who fought his way out of the system, and is now the IBF heavyweight champion.
He always shoots his own films in 16mm and continues to work with Gabriel Films as his production company. Soffer works out of Los Angeles now, and has his own post production studio. He attributes his current success to the spirit and determination that he’s witnessed in the subjects of his films who must overcome unfathomable odds to gain respect and redemption.