Photograph courtesy Oscilloscope Laboratories
The Fits is a micro-budget indie movie about a dance team beset with an epidemic of mysterious seizures that was shot entirely on location in Cincinnati’s West End. The film opens at the Esquire Theater on Friday June 10 and should not be missed. Here’s why:
1. Royalty Hightower
The Winton Woods student (who was 9 at the time of filming) stars as 11 year-old tomboy, Toni, who leaves behind the boxing gym to join a local dance team. Hightower delivers a controlled and mature breakout performance that’s been lauded from the Venice Film Festival to Sundance.
This West End based majorette/drill dance team was founded 30 years ago by Marquicia Jones-Woods as a way to give local kids an after school activity. The day Jones-Woods retired from her job with the Metropolitan Housing Authority was the same day director Anna Rose Holmer pitched her The Fits.
3. She liked us. She really, really liked us
Brooklyn-based Holmer knew she wanted to make a dance-themed movie. When she saw a YouTube video of Q-Kidz, she knew it had to feature this team and rewrote her script to incorporate Q-Kidz and their Cincinnati practice space at the Lincoln Community Center on Linn Street.
4. Cincinnati Plays Itself
After disguising itself as New York City in both Carol and Miles Ahead, Cincinnati is the setting, not merely the location, for The Fits, and the cinematography from Paul Yee captures both the city’s grit and its glory.
5. It’s good
Beautiful and haunting, The Fits is an astonishing feature debut from Holmer, who manages to coax accomplished and measured acting out of a cast of young women who had never acted before.