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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

No Holds Barred: Michiel Thomas and Yuhei Ogawa on 'Game Face' 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Michiel Thomas and Yuhei Ogawa, the executive producers of the documentary film "Game Face".

This documentary chronicles the coming out of two LGBT athletes: Fallon Fox, who is the first openly transgender MMA fighter, and Terrence Clemens, who came out as openly gay during his college basketball career.

We spoke with Michiel Thomas and Yuhei Ogawa Monday in New York at a showing of "Game Face" as part of DOC NYC, which is America's largest documentary film festival.

"There's a lot of reasons why we wanted to make the film," said Michiel Thomas, who also directed the film. "There were personal reasons for me, because I love basketball and I'm gay myself. But also I'm originally from Belgium, and when I moved out here I got to meet several friends who I found out that they lost their scholarship when they went to school because the school found out that they were gay. At the same time there was also a wave of teenage suicides going on. So all these events made me want to do something about it. And I thought this documentary could be a perfect answer. So that was the approach from the beginning."

We also discussed how they made contact with Fallon Fox through transgender basketball player Kye Allums, how the film premiered in April and has played in more than 45 film festivals with many more to come, plans to have it shown in schools and universities, future plans to get it on TV and online, the comparison of the reactions in MMA to Fallon Fox and the reactions in basketball to Terrence Clemens, and much more.

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