For over thirty years, the Falcone family has run a boxing
program for youth escaping life on the streets, hoping for a shot as
professional fighters. Richard ‘Hardface’ Mason is the driving force behind
this feature-length documentary as fighter-turned-trainer at Cincinnati’s
struggling Northside Boxing Gym.
Shot on 16mm film, Hardface explores the enduring bond between fighter and
trainer, providing an inside look at the amateur boxing experience. Two
promising young fighters embark on the journey to become the gym's next
champions. The past merges with the present through family archive footage and
interviews, revealing why Falcone's fighters 'always come home.'
Hardface follows David, 21 and Chris, 25, two amateur boxers,
as they train to fight at the National PAL Boxing Tournament, continuing the
legacy of the Northside Boxing Gym.
Set on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio, Hardface features
captivating 16mm film cinematography, giving this story of redemption the
dramatic force of an epic narrative film.
Aside from eventually turning professional, most amateur
boxers dream about making it to the Olympics. If a fighter can amass enough
points at national amateur tournaments such as the PAL, he or she can enter the
trials for the USA Olympic Boxing Team. The National PAL Tournament is six
The story begins as we are introduced to John Falcone, the
founder of Northside Boxing Gym as well as his wife Linda, who is in her own
right a boxing guru. As the history of the gym unfolds, the road to the PAL tournament
takes on greater meaning as perhaps the final chapter of a more than thirty year
With the boxing program in financial jeopardy, the PAL trip
to California may be the last travel the program can afford. Northside Boxing
is financed by weekend Bingo, however gradual downturn in attendance even has
the Falcones concerned about the gym remaining viable altogether.
Hardface was produced and directed by Mark Hood and
co-produced by Matthew Hood. Doreen Beatrice served as an executive within the
production team. New York-based composer and violinist Todd Reynolds
contributes a moving original score.