BEVERLY HILLS, Calif./ Imperia Entertainment (Pink Sheets: IPEI) President James Hergott announces that American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California will host open auditions for a movie about the sport of mixed martial arts entitled Never Submit on Sunday November 19th beginning at 4pm.
AKA is owned and operated by Javier Mendez, a former two-time world champion kick-boxer, and is home to a number of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitors, many of which are making plans to audition for roles in Never Submit.
According to the movies producer, Cindy Ortiz, “AKA was one of the first MMA training centers I contacted and offered the opportunity to host one of the casting call for Never Submit because of the level of talent Javier Mendez and head instructor “Crazy” Bob Cook have been able to attract and keep. These guys have a top-notch operation and I have no doubt we will be able to cast and fill a number of roles on our list by holding auditions at AKA.”
“Jervis Cole of Zinkin Entertainment & Sports Management (headquartered in Fresno, CA) and I have been in contact since July about the movie” explains Ortiz. “His agency represents some of the hottest MMA fighters out there including Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Josh Koscheck, Cung Le, Mike Swick, Cane Velasquez, Trevor Prangley, Phil Baroni, Josh Thompson, Jon Fitch, Paul Buentello and Rashad Evans. Zinkin Entertainment is a well respected agency in this industry because not only do they manage the fight careers of their athletes, they explore opportunities of interest to their clients outside of that realm. Competing in combat sports is something these athletes choose to do…but it’s not the only thing they can do. Many fighters aspire to see themselves on the silver screen and we are impressed with the level of talent Jervis Cole and Zinkin Entertainment have confidence in.”
Slated to vie for roles in Never Submit November 19th at AKA also include Jean-Claude Leuyer, Matt Major, Jimmy Zimmerman and Bobby Southworth. Already cast for roles in the movie are Pride Fighting Championships superstars Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Director James Hergott comments, “As a former Judo competitor, I have closely followed this sport and have been a fan of MMA since its North American introduction in 1993. Only during the past two years has mixed martial arts finally started to gain true mainstream acceptance. Never Submit will appeal to the hardcore fans as well as expose movie goers to this emerging sport who may know very little, if anything, about MMA when they enter the theater. My goal is to turn as many viewers into MMA fans as possible by the closing credits.”
Hergott continues, “It is my intent as writer and director to portray the sport of MMA, the athletes competing in it and the fans supporting it in a positive light. MMA isn’t a barbaric underground blood sport like it has been depicted in the past by other filmmakers. It’s a very intellectual sport; a physical chess match between men. Never Submit will showcase the courage, integrity, commitment, athleticism and sportsmanship found in these modern day gladiators and I’m looking forward to telling their stories.”
“To most professional fighters in this sport, Never Submit is a metaphor describing the way they live their lives,” Hergott explains. “These athletes aren’t quitters. They have a discipline that runs deep that impacts most of what they do. They have something in their DNA that the rest of us do not. These athletes are competitive by nature and the will to succeed and be number one is always the goal.”
Imperia Entertainment will announce the actors and fighters for the film in future press releases. Inquiries pertaining to fighters interested in auditioning for roles, potential sponsorship opportunities available to companies/vendors and MMA media requests should be made via e-mail to Producer Cindy Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Their appearance is typically their ‘secret weapon’ because they can be accountants, teachers, police officers, firemen and/or attorneys,” Hergott adds. “They don’t have to be tall like basketball players or massive and quick like football players in order to be champions. MMA offers one of, if not the most diverse and talented pools of athletes found in any sport, in any country, on any continent in the world and that’s one of the things that makes it so great.”
Never Submit is an inspirational tale similar to Rocky, but the lead character is an intelligent young man (as are most fighters competing in this sport) rather than a beaten-down punch-drunk fighter. An amazing cast of characters will round out this film; each from different walks of life; each with his own set of circumstances and motivating factors driving him to be the best. For some, their best won’t be good enough.
Different roads bring them all to the same intersection where the human spirit is put to the test. For these athletes, their hearts, physical skills and mental tenacity decides the victor… and there can only be one. Never Submit takes movie goers inside the methodical, fast paced, action packed, unpredictable and sometimes controversial world of mixed martial arts, deemed by many to be the most exciting sport on the planet.
Ms. Ortiz comments, “MMA is regulated and sanctioned by numerous state athletic commissions because they recognize it to be a legitimate sport just like baseball, football and basketball. These fighters are just as much professional athletes as the elite performers found in other sports. I feel that Never Submit will have widespread appeal because it doesn’t matter what language you speak or where you are from, competitive fighting is universal. The action in this film is going to keep movie goers on the edge of their seats just like it does millions of spectators flocking to live MMA events every year around the globe.”
Ortiz continues, “The script doesn’t present MMA as the hobby it is for some, nor does it focus on amateur level competitors. Never Submit showcases the intensity of professional fighting and I think it’s going to succeed in bringing long overdue recognition and respect to the sport as well as the athletes representing it. Typically we see films with great action scenes but not-so-great acting or storylines… or just the opposite. That’s not the case with Never Submit. The fight sequences are outstanding, the dramatic scenes are warm and convincing and the way Mr. Hergott has tied these two elements together makes for a great story. The roles are challenging and rewarding and the end result will be something everyone involved can be very proud of.”
Imperia Entertainment recently announced a partnership with TapouT Magazine (www.tapoutmagazine.com) as part of a cross-country tour to promote the publication as well as the movie. Stops at select dojos to hold auditions for Never Submit are being finalized. TapouT Magazine readers can expect to see the mixed martial arts movie prominently featured in the bi-monthly publication throughout the casting, filming and theatrical release stages, as well as enjoy behind the scenes details from Never Submit director James Hergott, one of TapouT Magazines newest contributors.