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RIFF Feature Film #4: "Girl Fight: A Muay Thai Story"


Preceded by short film "Boat Love" directed by Peter Berube


Sunday, August 30, 2015

1:00-3:00pm: Screening + Filmmakers Q&A

Hamilton Stage


Rahway International Film Festival Feature Documentary Presentation - "GIRL FIGHT: A MUAY THAI STORY" directed by Matthew Kaplowitz.


The screening will be preceded by short film "Boat Love" directed by Peter Berube. Following the feature film, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers & cast.


All festival tickets include free admission to the Saturday Lobby Networking Hour at 8PM, which will serve complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar. All tickets also include admission to our Opening Night & Closing Night After-Parties, offering a complimentary light buffet and Happy Hour bar pricing. Come join the fun!


10% of ticket proceeds will be donated to the charities "Integrity House" & "National Alliance on Mental Illness".

"Girl Fight: A Muay Thai Story"


Feature Documentary  |  Runtime: 1:29:58

Country of Origin: New Jersey, USA

Language: English


Synopsis: When you are a fighter, winning and losing is everything. For the women of “The Girl Fight Gym”, an all-female kickboxing gym in Toms River, New Jersey, winning means more than having your arm raised after a match. The film follows the head coach, Prairie Rugilo, and one of her students, DeAna Mendez, as the pair prepare for several fights, and cope with the setbacks and opposition that comes with training to get into the ring. Prairie and DeAna must overcome their personal struggles to become the champions they want to be, embarking on a journey that takes them down roads they did not expect to go through over the course of 18 months. In the backdrop of The Jersey Shore as it continues to try to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, these two fighters battle in and out of the ring against their greatest opponent – themselves.

Director: Matthew Kaplowitz (in attendance)

A lifelong practitioner and fan of martial arts, Matthew Kaplowitz began working for combat sports websites and magazines starting in 2006. In 2009, he started, a news website dedicated to the sport with a focus on video production, which has become a reliable source for information & entertainment. Matthew became an Associate Producer at Matador Content, and worked on over a dozen shows for Spike TV, including the “Frank Shamrock: Bound by Blood” documentary, several documentaries in the “Unrivaled” series, pay-per-view specials and the “Rampage 4 Real” reality series.


Producer: Stephen Koepfer (in attendance)

Stephen is a lifelong New Yorker and martial artist. He served as a technical adviser for "Human Weapon' (History Channel, 2008) and the season one finale of "Dhani Tackles the Globe" (Travel Channel, 2009), where he also appeared as himself. Stephen's inauguration as a producer came in 2011 with the acclaimed feature documentary New York Mixed Martial Arts (MMAFilm, LLC, 2011). Stephen has been in front of or behind the camera on several other independent television, film and web-based projects in various roles including producer, actor, stunts and fight choreographer.




"Boat Love"


Short Narrative |  Runtime: 4:50

Country of Origin: California, USA

Language: English


Synopsis: A guy tries really hard to impress a girl by taking her sailing. Nautical hilarity ensues.


Director: Peter Berube

Peter Berube wrote and directed the musical “Behind Closed Doors: the Musical,” which received two Broadway World LA nominations for its original LA workshop and premiered in 2014 at the New York Fringe Festival.  Peter graduated from Central Connecticut University and currently splits his time between New York and Los Angeles. 


Executive Producer | Co-Writer | Actor: Anne Popolizio

(in attendance)

Anne Popolizio is a New Jersey-raised actress currently living in Los Angeles.  She stars in the Emmy Award-winning PSA, “Help a Soldier Heal,” and has an MFA in Acting from California State University, Long Beach.  Anne is also an avid sailor. To her, “Boat Love” began out of a desire to create narrative content that not only appealed to sailors, but that featured a woman sailor who stayed conscious, clothed, and did not need rescuing. 


Co-Writer | Actor: Tom Christensen

Tom Christensen wrote “Boat Love” with co-writer and co-star Anne Popolizio in August 2013.  Tom is a Los Angeles-based actor who has appeared on “2 Broke Girls,” “Happy Endings,” and in “J. Edgar.”  Tom is also the proud dad to the adorable baby Carter. 

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