The hard work has paid off for Blaengwynfi filmmaker Ciaran Gibbons whose documentary on light-middleweight boxer Aled Cook won it’s first award.

Earlier today, the documentary called ‘The Fight Game’ was crowned as the ‘Best Feature Documentary’ at the third annual Carmarthen Bay Film Festival. The non-for-profit organisation is committed to supporting independent film makers in Wales and Gibbons’ documentary has made it’s mark with the judges and decision makers.

10247215_10202896118337780_1964803294262510234_nGibbons said, “I didn’t imagine that it would win awards when I started making it. My plan was to go along with it and just see how it panned out. With the documentary being real life, you don’t know how good it’s going to be until you’ve got all the content filmed and start putting it together.

“Once I finished filming it, I knew I had a god lot of content and it was just a case of putting it together in to a coherent documentary then. The filming was great, I loved every second of the filming all around England and Wales but the editing was a lot more stressful, a lot more hard work. I spent a lot of months editing, re-editing and re-editing again.”

The fly on the wall film gives an insight in to the professional debut of 19-year-old Aled Cook, giving the full background of his amateur career and the build up to his first paid outing – a successful points decision win over Kieron Gray at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena last August – and Gibbons believes that the nature of boxing is the reason for the stories success.

He said, “Boxing is real life drama. Most of the people who were at the film festival and watched the documentary, I’m guessing most weren’t boxing fans but they can just appreciate the real life drama and danger. People are literally putting their lives and safety on the line for a sport. “People can relate to that, especially the lad in the documentary, Aled Cook, who was only 18 at the time and he looked like your average kid, you wouldn’t think he’s a boxer if you saw him out on the street.”

Cook began boxing at Gwynfi ABC and he would go on to win four British and five Welsh titles while amassing a record of 45 wins from 50 bouts, Cook represented Wales internationally in 20 of those bouts. John Radmore had guided Cook since he first began boxing and the documentary begins as Radmore hands over the reigns to Team Clev with Nathan Cleverly managing and Vince Cleverly coaching.

Gibbons said, “I’ve known Aled since he was seven or eight years old because we’re both from the same village and that did help me. I’ve got a lot of film footage of Aled when he was an amateur boxer at Gwynfi Amateur Boxing Club, I think that gave the documentary a lot of strength in depth. It wasn’t scratching the surface, I had footage of Aled going back years and there was a background to it.”

It was the Cleverly connection that provided the documentary with it’s key focus, August 17th – the date of Cook’s debut. The behind the scenes pre and post-fight footage reveals a remarkably relaxed Cook who possesses an ear-to-ear smile throughout the night.

The documentary also includes interviews about ‘The Fight Game’ with notable British boxing figures, such as; Ricky Hatton, Chris Eubank and Steve Robinson. There are plans for a screening of The Fight Game in Cardiff in June.

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