Presented By:Anna Rose Holmer
11-year-old boxer Toni (Royalty Hightower) finds a new passion when she joins a drill team. She’s entranced by the squad’s attitude, artistry, and energetic commitment to their craft—and hungry for their approval. But as her new teammates start experiencing bizarre shaking and fainting episodes, her life heads in a mysterious new direction—and viewers are transported from a coming-of-age story rooted in realism to an exhilarating cinematic experience that plays by its own rules.
Anna Rose Holmer’s narrative-feature debut, which premiered at Venice and screened in Sundance 2016’s Next slate, offers a visionary narrative rich in atmosphere and visual poetry. Featuring a strong ensemble cast of young newcomers to the big screen, and centered around a breakout performance by Hightower, Holmer lovingly and imaginatively constructs a world where adolescence takes center stage, a world that is still full of first encounters with bold new wonders—and terrors.
One of the most exciting things one can encounter at a film festival is an emerging filmmaker already working with a sensibility all their own. As dissimilar as they are in content and style, features like Sun Don’t Shine (Amy Seimetz, MDFF 2012), It Felt Like Love (Eliza Hittman, MDFF 2013), and The Mend (John Magary, MDFF 2014) all signaled fresh voices confidently wielding new cinematic vocabularies. As always with discoveries of this magnitude, The Fits is cause for celebration. (Eric Allen Hatch)Director Bio
Anna Rose Holmer was selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2015. Anna’s producing credits include Ballet 422 (Tribeca Film Festival 2014, Magnolia Pictures) a vérité feature directed by Jody Lee Lipes; and Salero, which is also screening within MDFF 2016. With filmmaker Matt Wolf, Anna co-directed and produced A Ballet in Sneakers: Jerome Robbins and Opus Jazz (2010). Anna’s first documentary feature Twelve Ways to Sunday premiered with Rooftop Films in 2010.