Q&A with “Manny” director Ryan Moore
We are thrilled to have Director Ryan Moore in town to present his documentary, Manny!
Narrated by Liam Neeson and directed by Ryan Moore and Academy Award winner Leon Gast, Manny is an inspirational tale of a man who overcame insurmountable odds to become one of the most loved and respected athletes of all time.
I asked director Ryan Moore a few questions about his film, which you can watch Friday at 12:45pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, or catch it 12:45pm Saturday at the Rep!
What is a one-sentence synopsis of Manny?
Ryan Moore: Manny is the untold story of boxer Manny Pacquiao, who through a colorful journey inside and outside the ring, has been labeled as this generation’s Muhammad Ali.
What drew you to his story? Why was it important to you to make this film?
RM: Since I’m Filipino American and lived in the Philippines, it was a dream of mine to film Manny Pacquiao’s life. His story is what fairy tales are made of. He is arguably one of the greatest athletes and personalities to ever come out of the Philippines. Not only is Manny one of the most significant boxers of this era, but he will go down in the boxing hall of fame for setting the Guiness World Record for 8 weight division titles (remains unbeaten).
What was your biggest challenge?
RM: Filming Manny’s life everyday is like receiving word that a Category 5 tropical storm may be touching ground every morning. You’re constantly unaware of what may happen – his boxing career, political responsibilities, and personal life were all in flux so I ended up wrapping production four times. Just when we thought we were done, the unexpected kept happening and we couldn’t stop filming. On top of that, keeping the subjects interested in allowing me to film was always a challenge since this project went on for 3-4 years. Editing over 1,200 hours of footage was no easy feat for me and my editing team.
What do you hope audiences will leave the film talking about?
RM: Without giving too much away, the topic I’ve heard others discuss is whether or not he will retire and pursue another career or if he will continue on and fight too long. Sports writer Thomas Hauser once said that the three greatest boxers were Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Lewis – all of them fought too long and ended up in poor health. With everything Manny has going for him outside the ring, when will he decide enough is enough?
Have you been to Little Rock or LRFF before? What are you looking forward to?
RM: No, I haven’t been to either yet but I’m looking forward to touring the Clinton presidential library, biking around town, checking out local art and taking the riverboat cruise.
By Cameron Zohoori