Kickstart This: 'Touch the Wall' Follows Olympic Swimmers to Gold

April 19, 2013

Touch the Wall Kickstarter

Welcome back to another edition of Kickstart This, FirstShowing's weekly column dedicated to spreading the word about cool indie projects that need your help to become a reality. This week, we want to turn your attention to a feature documentary called Touch the Wall. Ever wonder what it takes to win a gold medal at the Olympics? This doc follows 17-year-old Missy Franklin and her teammate Kara Lynn Joyce as they train for two years before winning multiple medals at the London Olympics last year. Take a look at their great pitch video below, leave us a comment, and don't forget to donate a few bucks if you can. Check it out!

Despite NBC's idiotic decision to tape delay last year's Olympic coverage, it was still a special feeling to see the entire country come together during those weeks and all join in watching something that wasn't as dumb and meaningless as "American Idol." The Olympics foster a sense of pride and unity, the latter of which we desperately need in the wake of this week's Boston Patriot's Day bombings. It also introduces children to a new set of athletic heroes, and it sounds like Missy and Kara Lynn are exactly the kinds of role models that young athletes (male or female) can aspire to imitate and follow.

The filmmakers have shot over 400 hours of footage over the past two years, chronicling events like early morning practices and qualifying meets all the way up to the London Olympics themselves. But the doc isn't just about the girls' accomplishments in the water - it's about family, unity, friendship, and commitment as well. There's also a cool aspect of Missy's career just taking off (she broke two world records last year) while Kara's comes to an end; qualifying for the 2012 Olympics was the third time Kara has accomplished that feat, and though she didn't win any gold medals, her persistence and hard work earned her four silvers.

As is often the case with Kickstarter projects, this one is offering some interesting and unique rewards to those who donate on various levels. In keeping with the spirit of the documentary, some of these are really awesome: they range from art prints, T-shirts, signed photos, entrance to swim clinics around the country, and even a private swimming lesson in Denver from Kara Lynn Joyce. (Impressive!) Check out the video:

For more on the documentary Touch the Wall, to follow Missy and Kara Lynn's path to success, and to help support this project, visit its Kickstarter page. Filmmakers Grant Barbeito and Christo Brock are looking to raise $110,000 by this Tuesday, April 23rd, and as of this writing they're sitting at just over $90,000. Let's try to give them that last push that they need to take this project to the next level.

That's all for this week's Kickstart This. Please feel free to e-mail me at if you come across any cool film-related projects that might need some extra attention to meet their goals. My inbox is always open, and if you send in any Kickstarter or IndieGoGo film project, I can't always promise we'll feature it here, but I will definitely take a look at it. Thanks for all your submissions so far, and keep them coming! As always, we want to thank you guys for your support of these projects because they couldn't be completed without the help of film lovers just like you. For our full archives, visit here. What do you think?

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