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USA, 2006 (MIFF 2006, International Panorama)

Director: David Wike

Off-kilter with a refreshingly sly wink to the great outdoors (think Deliverance as psychotherapy), Champions sees actor David Wike in his directing debut. The result is a tight ensemble piece that takes a skewed view of a quarter-to-midlife crisis.

Seeking harmony in nature, three dysfunctional young men (played by Wikes, Kevin Corrigan and Ebon Moss Bachrach) head off for a weekend in the country to assist an eccentric uncle on his so-called farm. The only problem is the uncle runs his operation like a military manoeuvre where planting spinach beside bok choy is cause for civil war.

As these confused men spend more time together, tensions start to build. A young woman enters the picture, as does a wayward cop and a gender-bending farmer, and before long, the trio's bucolic weekend starts to get a little challenging… and things just keep getting stranger and stranger.

As writer-director-actor, Wike has cooked up a spicy stew of eccentric characters who come alive through their loopy conversations and unique personality ticks and foibles.

D/S David Wike P Ben Freedman, Lisa Muskat WS Picture Farm
TD video/2006/95mins

David Wike was born in Pennsylvania, USA, in 1970. Champions (2006) is his feature film directing debut.

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