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The Cage Fighter

Producers Jeff Unay, James Orara


The Cage Fighter is the story of a man in the fight of his life. Joe Carman (40) is a blue-collar Washington State boilermaker and master plumber, a loving father and husband. Unable to cope with stresses at home, reeling from his wife’s recent illness and an ongoing custody battle, Joe escapes back into the fighting cage — the one place he’d promised never to set foot again. By trading his inner pain for physical blows, Joe struggles to heal himself and come to terms with his past. In the fighting cage, life’s problems are as simple as they are acute; but there, unlike in the real world, an old fighter can at least go down swinging.

Over the course of three years, events are captured through observational footage thanks to unprecedented access to Joe and his family. The film will end with Joe’s last fight — in the cage, in the courtroom and within himself.

About The Team

Jeff Unay, Producer / Director / DP: Jeff is a Director, Cinematographer and award-winning Artist whose post-production credits include Visual Effects Academy Award winners Avatar and King Kong. His twelve-year background in creating the faces for leading digital actors for many of today’s blockbuster films has provided a unique toolset for capturing the emotional honesty of his subjects in his nonfiction and commercial work. Previously, he wrote, co-shot and co-edited the feature documentary produced by Valve Corporation, Free to Play (2014), which went on to receive 5.5 million views in its opening weekend. Jeff is a member of the 2015 Full Sail University Hall of Fame for his contributions to the entertainment industry as a director, cinematographer and artist.

Andrea Meditch, Executive Producer: Andrea executive produced the 2015 Emmy-winning Dangerous Acts; Buck, which won the Sundance Audience Award and was shortlisted; Oscar-winner Man on Wire; and Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World. Previously, she launched and built Discovery Films, developing and executive producing such films as Grizzly Man, In the Shadow of the Moon, The Killer Within, and The Flight That Fought Back.

David Teague, Editor: David has edited four Oscar-nominated documentaries, including one Oscar winner. Past work includes Cutie and the Boxer, E-TEAM, Mondays at Racine, and Freeheld. He recently completed editing Roger Ross William’s Sundance-winner Life, Animated.

James Orara, Producer: James is a Seattle-based Producer and Artist. He brings over five years of film experience from his time at the acclaimed Visual Effects house Industrial Light+Magic, and is credited on films including Star Trek, Rango and The Avengers.

The Cage Fighter was made in association with Cinereach, receiving grant support and a loan.