My review & pictures of “Medora” World Premiere Red Carpet + Q&A at 2013 SXSW Film Festival

On Tuesday, March 12, 2013 I attended the gala World Premiere of Medora at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The screening took place at the legendary Alamo Ritz. The film was a selection in the Documentary Spotlight section.

There are essentially two kinds of documentaries. The first documents an incident you may have heard of but uncovers facts that are new to you. The second turns you on to a story you probably knew nothing about, hopefully moving you in ways unimagined. This heartfelt feature from directors Andrew Cohn and Davy Rothbart is a triumphant example of the latter.

Medora is a (very) small town in rural Indiana, a once-thriving middle America community with factories and farms and shops and churches -- life -- losing to the draw of the big city and 21st century economic realities. With a declining high school enrollment, Medora also struggles to support a basketball team with a historically winning record that, lately, has achieved a remarkable consistency -- they now lose every game.

Directors Cohn and Rothbart stick to a tried and true format, following a small group of boys as they attempt to bring some honor to the Medora Hornets and pride back to a town with little left to celebrate. The cast centers around Dylan McSoley, Rusty Rogers, Robby Armstrong, Chaz Cowles, Justin Gilbert, Corey Hansen, Logan Farmer, Josh Deering, Rudie Crane, and Dennis Pace. As they open up to the filmmakers, the families' heartwarming stories are bound to leave you with a lump in the throat.

But you don't need to know the game of basketball or even be a sports fan to appreciate the human interest at the heart of Medora. Yes, it's about high school kids trying to achieve a seemingly small yet apparently insurmountable goal. But there's a bigger picture here, literally -- a story about the loss of small town America, a consequence of corporate industrialization and a country undergoing a dramatic transformation that is rapidly wiping out a way of life.

Medora was produced by directors Rothbart and Cohn, along with Rachel Dengiz for Olive Productions and assistant director/cinematographer Rachael Counce. Steve Buscemi and Stanley Tucci served as Executive Producers for Olive, along with Alex Turtletaub, Wren Arthur, Tim Foley, and Michael Clark. Medora is an Olive Productions, Seven34 Films, and Beachside film.

I gave Medora five stars and a place on my 2013 SXSW Film Festival Top 5 Documentaries.

Prior to the screening, Medora Hornets player Dylan McSoley walked the Red Carpet along with director/producer Davy Rothbart, producer Rachel Dengiz, and producer/assistant director/cinematographer Rachael Counce. Directors Cohn and Rothbart were brought onstage by Austin filmmaker Nathan Zellner to introduce the movie. After the screening, they returned to the stage, joined by McSoley and crew for an informative and inspiring Q&A session.

Here are some pictures I shot on the Red Carpet along with the screening intro and Q&A:


INTRO AND Q&A GALLERY (47 photos on 3 pages)

Twitter @MedoraFilm

Kickstarter trailer:


Larry Richman

Larry Richman

For 20 years I was a professional in the entertainment industry, from commercial broadcast radio in America's fourth largest market to band management to record production. But my passion is independent film, and I spend much of the year traveling to film festivals to see indies and meet the actors, directors, and others responsible for creating them. I'm a writer, photographer, and videographer, currently serving as Senior Vice President for Media & Technology and Public Relations at PROnetworks as well as Editor at

Comments (0)

There have not been any comments submitted for this entry to date.

Leave a Comment

You need sign in to comment on entries on Larry411.

  • Author: Larry Richman
  • Posted: March 28, 2013
  • Visiblity:
    • Total Views: 119
    • Current Year: 0
    • Current Month: 0
    • Current Week: 0
    • Last 30 Days: 0
  • Tags: None