Today, Mixed Martial Arts is a billion dollar sport with a large and diverse fanbase. But just 13 years ago it was on the verge of collapse, outlawed in most states and kept alive by a small, underground, and wildly passionate few. One of it’s more well known supporters was a charismatic journalist, fighter, and trainer named Rafiel Torre. But as the sport experienced a resurgence and Rafiel’s profile rose, a dark truth began to emerge. One that would change the lives of many, and end the life of one.
FIGHTING IN PLAIN SIGHT is a feature length documentary that tells this forgotten tale. Director Edward Doty has filmed hundreds of hours of behind the scenes MMA footage for almost 15 years. He personally encountered Rafiel during his heyday and recorded dozens of hours of footage of him during this period. It is this rare footage, combined with interviews from Mixed Martial Arts luminaries looking back at this era that comprise the bulk of Fighting in Plain Sight.
We are well into production, and an 8 minute cut of the film is a Staff Pick at theaudienceawards.com (you can view that version here, on our Gallery page here, and at http://theaudienceawards.com/films/58/Fighting-In-Plain-Sight.html), but the short version merely scratches the surface of this compelling story. That’s where you come in.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
This is a passion project. For the 8 minute version, which was originally part of the 2013 International Documentary Challenge (docchallenge.org), a small army of very talented Film and TV professionals lent their time and effort to get us this far. You can watch that version at To get us across the finish line, we’d like to compensate those helping us, as well as just being able to afford the bare necessities to deliver a film with the level of quality this story deserves.
Additionally, this film, to say the least, is dense. Without spoiling much of the story, there are many perspectives to consider and in order to show the proper respect to all involved, we have to take our time to allow those with different points of view to let their voices be heard. Also, any documentary film requires it’s share of legal council to help secure clearance for appearances and licensing, and we are no exception.
In short, the budget of $20,000.00 (USD) we are asking for will go towards:
- Finishing principal photography. We have at least two more shoots that involve some travel.
- VFX/Titling. We experimented with some Visual Effects to enhance the archival footage we used. We want to push this a little further as well as cover our Open Titles and Lower Thirds.
- Music. Our excellent composer, Teague Chrystie, makes wonderful sounds with his computer. We need more of it.
- Legal. This will become clearer if you watch the short version.
WHY WE’RE MAKING THIS
“I was advised by several people NOT to make this film. To many, this story drags up painful memories. But I feel this story is important, now more than ever. If you’ve watched the short, you’ve learned by now that Rafiel completely fabricated his background in MMA. Martial Arts have been the single most powerful influence in my life, and directly responsible for making me who I am. I am certainly not alone. But claiming to be an expert in Martial Arts, and then using those claims to train others not only reeks of hubris, it’s dangerous. Sadly, Rafiel is far from the last person to do this. Everyday, there are more and more so called “experts,” crawling out from the woodwork. These frauds do damage to the Martial Arts community that has given me so much. I want this film to not only entertain and provoke thought, but to also serve as a cautionary tale. My team and I feel we can do this with the proper resources, we can expand the film and fully realize this goal. We’re excited to finish this story, and we very much look forward to you being a part of it.”
- Edward Doty
HOW YOU CAN HELP
There are many ways to help, and we truly appreciate any donation on any level, including, the much vaunted $1 donation. Regardless of your contribution, you can help us spread the word through social media (facebook, twitter, Instagram,etc.) and online communities that focus on the world of Mixed Martial Arts (Underground Forum, Sherdog, MMAFighting, etc.) Share the video with friends and loved ones and be a part of an MMA Documentary unlike any other.