New York Makers had the good fortune to attend the premiere of CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS, a documentary directed by Bartle Bull and produced by Donald Rosenfeld and Andreas Roald that follows three young people as they rise to compete in the oldest amateur boxing tournament in the world: The New York Daily News’ Golden Gloves. This event, founded in 1927 but new to us, has apparently produced more professional champions than the Olympic Games.
Daily News Charities LLC, a New York not-for-profit established in 1938 to serve as a voluntary health and welfare organization and to provide relief to the poor, care or the sick, and other charitable objectives, hosts the annual ten-week Golden Gloves tournament each year.
Asked what intrigued him about this story so much that he wanted to produce a documentary, Donald Rosenfeld replied, “When the film’s director, Bartle Bull, would tell me about the Golden Gloves, a five New York borough tournament that had been the heart of boxing for a century, and that he wanted to make that movie — I had to board that train — and it was a fascinating ride for many years in its making. I became obsessed myself and sponsored the Harlem match year after year.”
Press play to watch the CRADLE OF CHAMPIONS trailer
How hard does one have to work to be a boxing champion compared to other sports? Donald argues it is “more physically draining and has more potential injury than any sport -- in boxing you must be extremely strong as well as very, very fast.” He adds that he believes the single most important skill for a boxer is “focus -- extreme Buddhist monk level concentration and courage -- it is dangerous!”Cradle of Champions, which won the Grand Prize at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, will have its North American Premiere on Friday, September 21, at 8 PM ET/PT on Showtime. In Spring 2019, the film will have a theatrical launch throughout Europe, Japan Russia, China, and Latin America.