Los Angeles, California- January 11, 2016-

The first documentary feature about the emergence of contemporary pole dance from strip clubs and its evolution as an art form, fitness trend and competitive sport over the last two decades, Fistful of Steel launched its three week Kickstarter campaign today. United Pole Artists CEO and Founder Annemarie Davies will direct and produce alongside editor Bryan Bailey and Karina Rahardja. William T. Kamp III will serve as director of photography.

The film will tell pole’s story through the words and dancing of the people who have shaped the industry, as well as explore broader themes, including social stigmas around overt female sexuality.

“I’m excited to make a film that shows how pole has grown from its roots in stripping to a widely-appreciated dance form, loved for the strength, confidence and self-expression it affords,” says director Annemarie Davies, “It’s a story that’s long overdue to be told, and we can’t wait to share our journey with the world.”

Comprised of influential leaders in the community, the cast includes Bobbi, Marion Crampe, Jamilla Deville, Fawnia Dietrich, Josiah Grant, Karol Helms, Torwa Joe, Anna Przeplasko, Natasha Wang and Nicole “the Pole” Williams. Shooting will take place during February and March of this year at the home studios of each of the interviewees and continue in September at the annual Pole Expo convention in Las Vegas. Other locations include Atlanta, Charlotte, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney and Singapore. The Kickstarter campaign, which will run until February 2nd, will cover basic production costs, including equipment, crew labor, and travel.

 

Cast Bios

 

Bobbi- Sydney, Australia

In 2004, Bobbi opened Australia’s first pole studio in Sydney. A year later, she launched Miss Pole Dance Australia, one of the first competitions to launch stars in the community. Her studio now has branches in Sydney, Perth, Malaysia and Singapore.

 

Marion Crampe

Marion discovered pole dancing in 2006 and instantly fell in love with it. She took the national title in France and placed third at the IPC World Championships in 2012. Her unique and emotional style combines dance and contortion. She travels the world performing, teaching and sharing her passion.

 

Jamilla Deville- Las Vegas, Nevada

Jamilla Deville was the first to win the title of Miss Pole Dance Australia in 2005. The creator of the best-selling Art of Pole DVD series, Jamilla is an internationally-awarded touring instructor and performer with 15 years of experience.

 

Fawnia Dietrich- Las Vegas, Nevada

Fawnia taught the first ever pole class in 1994 and produced the first instructional video in 1998. She is the founder of Pole Expo, an annual event that unites members of the community from all over the world, serves on the board of directors for the Pole Fitness Association and is a member of the Olympic Committee for the International Sports Federation.

 

Josiah Grant- Los Angeles, California

The first male pole dancer to gain popularity and earn critical acclaim, Josiah most recently won first place at the 2015 National Aerial Pole Art Championship. He has built an international fan base that’s earned him sponsorships from top pole companie including Mighty Grip.

 

Karol Helms- Charlotte, North Carolina

A self-taught pole dancer, Karol began posting videos of her pole dance journey on YouTube and quickly built a following in the newly emerging online community. As the 2009 USPDF East Coast Champion, and the 2010 USPDF U.S. Pro Championships Runner Up, she has travelled around the world instructing and sharing her love of the art and sport with countless others. Karol serves as a brand ambassador for Bad Kitty, XPole, Glitter Heels, Diamond Diva Designs, and Girlie Grip. She’s also one of three brand directors for Bad Kitty’s exclusive PoleFit line of pole specific fitness apparel, the first line of workout apparel designed specifically for pole fitness by actual pole dance professionals.

 

Torwa Joe- Atlanta, Georgia

Twerking long before Miley, Torwa Joe has been a certified aerobics instructor since 1998 and a pole fitness instructor since 2005. The owner of Vertical Joe’s Fitness Studio in Atlanta, she has toured with rapper Lil’ Wayne, performed with Ludacris, and appeared on The Real Housewives of Atlanta and Braxton’s Family Values.

 

Anna Przeplasko- Singapore

Anna is the founder of International Pole Dance Fitness Association (IPDFA), an organization that supports the pole community, trains instructors and hosts the annual International Pole Championship (IPC), the first competition to include men and disabled divisions. Additionally, Anna has been named head judge for the first World Pole Sport Championship. She was United Pole Artists’ 2013 Pro Poler of the Year and was recognized by the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) for her outstanding contribution to pole sports.

 

Natasha Wang

Natasha began taking pole classes in 2006 with no prior experience in dance or gymnastics and began competing in 2009. Through her performances with the Los Angeles-based Girl Next Door Show, Natasha discovered how storytelling, emotion, and physicality could converge to create pole art. Her titles include 2013 IPC Ultimate Champion, 2012 Pole Art Runner-Up, 2011 US Pole Dance Champion and 2010 USPDF West Coast Champion. She put her career as a publicist on hold in 2011 to pursue her pole career and travels the world teaching and performing.

 

Nicole the Pole- Los Angeles, California

Nicole began pole dancing in 2007 and opened her Los Angeles studio, Allure, a year later. Perhaps the best known poler to the general public, her dancing has been featured in music videos for Rihanna, Ne-Yo, and Bruno Mars, and she’s appeared on television programs including The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Access Hollywood.

 

Additional Background Information

 

Annemarie Davies- Director/Producer

A pole dancer and teacher for over a decade, Annemarie Davies has been at the forefront of establishing the pole community. AM started dancing in Los Angeles strip clubs and, four years later, won the title of Spearmint Rhino’s Entertainer of the year. In 2008, she organized Pole Star Invitational, the first pole dancing competition outside of strip clubs in the US. She founded United Pole Artists in 2009 with the goal of bringing dancers together to share their work and providing a platform for those outside the community to watch competitions and learn about pole. Her thorough knowledge of pole and shared experience with our interview subjects will enrich the telling of their stories and allow us to hone our final thesis for the project as we gather information.

 

Bryan Bailey- Editor/Producer

Currently one of the editors for the hit Disney show Girl Meets World, Bryan has worked on documentaries including Beyond the Brick about Legos and Plant Pure Nation about the vegan lifestyle. He’s excited to explore the beautiful and empowering world of pole and lend his strong narrative and aesthetic sensibilities to telling the story of this unique subculture.

 

Karina Rahardja- Producer

Karina fell in love with pole dancing after taking one of Annemarie’s classes. Fascinated by the movement and intrigued by how it fits into pop culture and contemporary notions of feminism, she is eager to participate in bringing the story of pole to a widespread audience. She is currently a creative executive at Los Angeles-based production company Original Film.

 

William T. Kamp III- Director of Photography

Born in Dallas, Texas, William explored the world with his family from a young age. His passion for travel and understanding the world from different perspectives inspired his love of cinematography. After graduating from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in Cinema-Television and Economics, William travelled the world once again shooting documentaries for Discovery, Travel Channel, and National Geographic.

Working on these projects helped shape his career as a cameraman and producer. With a new found penchant for long-take documentary and narrative filmmaking, combined with his classical training in lighting an composition, William co-founded FlashBox Films in 2012.

 

David Franklin- Sound Mixer

David learned to appreciate the art of sound during his undergraduate studies at the University of North Texas. Since graduating in 2008, he has worked with Riot Games, Harmonix, Multiview, and National Geographic. He joined forces with William in 2012 to co-found FlashBox Films.

 

Contact:

Karina Rahardja- Producer

E: poledancefilm@gmail.com

P: 310.806.6811

Instagram: @poledancefilm

Twitter: @poledancefilm

Website: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/514655527/fistful-of-steel