Alone in the Game exposes the dark side of sports - the homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination - that affect not only closeted athletes, but also their teams and the very institution of sport in America.
Interview with Director/Producer Natalie Metzger
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
The world of sports has long been a wasteland for LGBTQ athletes. In the big 5 sports leagues in North America, there is only 1 openly gay athlete currently playing. This needs to change.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Alone in the Game captures rarely seen stories of struggle, perseverance, and triumph, delivering a message of hope and promoting understanding to ensure that the culture of exclusion in sports changes.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
We follow a handful of LGBTQ athletes, but their personal stories of struggle and triumph are reflected in many similar athletes' stories. Anyone who has faced adversity and made the decision to try to change things or conquer their fears can relate to the characters in this documentary.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
We filmed over the course of 2.5 years. We let the athletes' stories create the natural story arc of the film, and as we learned more about their lives and in talking with others, the story expanded from there. It ended up being different than our original plan, but the change happened in a really organic way that made the most sense for the film.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been so positive. We received a double standing ovation at Frameline, and when we had our broadcast release on June 28, people all over the country started tweeting about it. We are overwhelmed and humbled by the effect that the film is having. The more awareness, the better.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I've been surprised by the fact that some people from very conservative backgrounds are responding so positively to the film. It seems to be crossing across political party lines, which I think is really important if we want to see real, sustainable change. Change is possible.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
This is an important topic that isn't really being talked about or addressed within the sports world, so the more awareness that we can bring to it, the better.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would love for this film to start a movement of creating real change within the sports world so that LGBTQ athletes feel safe and supported, so much so that the ones that are currently playing in the closet feel safe enough to come out and be their true, authentic selves on the field or the court as well as off of it.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Why aren't more professional LGBTQ athletes out of the closet? What is causing the environment on sports team to not feel like a safe space for LGBTQ athletes?
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I'm in pre-production on a dark comedy that I'm producing this August in Georgia.
Interview: July 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Alone In the Game
Alone in the Game exposes the dark side of sports - the homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination - that affect not only closeted athletes, but also their teams and the very institution of sport in America. Examining the 'old boys club' of professional, collegiate, and high school athletics, the documentary combines the voices of sports’ pioneers, such as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and former ESPN President John Skipper, with the experiences of world-class athletes, such as NBA center Jason Collins, NFL linemen Ryan O’Callaghan, MLS Cup champion Robbie Rogers, and Olympic medalists Gus Kenworthy and Megan Rapinoe; as well as three closeted athletes, who have to decide whether they are ready to come out and live their truth with the possibility of it destroying their career dreams and relationships with family, friends, teammates and coaches.
Length: 95 minutes
Director: Natalie Metzger and Michael Rohrbaugh
Producer: Natalie Metzger
Executive Producer: David McFarland
Writer: David McFarland, Natalie Metzger, Peter Saroufim, Mari Walker
About the writer, director and producer:
Natalie Metzger’s visually rich and thoughtful work has been showcased in over 100 festivals around the world, receiving dozens of awards.
Key cast: Adam Silver, Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, Gus Kenworthy, Ryan O'Callaghan, Eric Fanning, Megan Rapinoe, Riley Tindol, Haley Videckis, Layana White
Hashtags: #AloneInTheGame #PlayProud
Where was this filmed? California, Washington DC, Alabama, Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, Chicago, Washington
Made in association with: AT&T
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? It is now available on DirectTV' and DirectTV Now through their Audience Network