A few years back, we let you know about CLAWstin, which is the locally-based arm (literally and figuratively) of the Collective of Lady Arm Wrestlers, a nationwide movement of women who use their muscle and a good dose of pageantry to raise money for local charities. I am proud to count myself among these ladies, having wrestled at the most recent CLAWstin as Midnight Angel.
Filmmaker Billy Hunt made a feature-length documentary film about this phenomenom, and it’s screening in Austin next week:
CLAW Movie Screening, Filmmaker Q&A and Exhibition Match
Thursday, January 30, 2014
8pm at the North Door, 502 Brushy Street
I had a chance to ask Billy a few questions about the movie and CLAW. As Billy pointed out, the league began in his hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia in 2008. When I asked him how he had the idea to make the film, Billy said, “I trucked my camera gear to matches, and before long, someone dubbed me the ‘official’ photographer.” Five years later, with the help of Brian Wimer, the documentary became a reality.
One of the things Billy observed during those five years on the sidelines at CLAW matches was that there was “a mad tension between exhibitionism and female empowerment”. In the end, he concluded, “these women are superheroes. By day, they work at Whole Foods or wherever, but by night, they are costumed, cursing and fighting for all that’s good in the world.” The Austin arm wrestlers are a part of the film, with a cameo by Pain Fonda, the last CLAWstin winner, who will be taking on Gina Tonic prior to the movie screening.
With all of this pomp and circumstance, what surprised Billy the most during filming? “The many faces of feminism,” he responded. “These unorthodox alter egos which finally found a venue to come forth and dominate. All shapes, sizes, inclinations and impersonations. A full spectrum of all-out estrogen empowerment. As guys, we’re humbled to hang in the perimeter of such strong women, and the causes they champion.” All told, CLAW events have raised over $400,000 for local charities.
Billy and his team are currently on the lookout for a distributor for the film. When I asked him what’s next after that, Billy mentioned that he’s keen to create Happy Accidents: The Bob Ross Story. Either that, or “an intelligent, investigative piece on twerking”. I guess after a documentary on lady arm wrestlers, the sky’s the limit.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.livemom.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Nicole-Basham-Sara-Marzani-Photography-livemom.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]A native Austinite and soccer-playing mom, Nicole uses her 7-year-old son as an excuse to rediscover her hometown through his eyes. In Thoreau’s words, her mission is to “suck out all the marrow of life”, or in her son’s words, to cultivate in him a love of “advenchers”.[/author_info] [/author]