One of the best parts of going to film festivals are the fights that break out after screenings. Typically, these arguments are limited to spirited discussions about the relative merits of a movie. But at Fantastic Fest‘s annual Fantastic Debates, things get a bit more physical. Filmmakers and critics square off in formal debates on a geektastic topic — say, whether video games represent a colossal waste of time or an emerging artform — and then settle the feud once and for all inside the squared circle with two minutes of incredibly awkward boxing.
This year’s Fantastic Debates had a tremendous card ranging from high comedy (directors David and Nathan Zellner clad in belly shirts and wrestling tights spitting fake blood and teeth) to legit beef (Twitch founder Todd Brown passionately arguing with “The Dead” director John Ford about the morality of filmmakers posting anonymous comments about their work on the Internet). In the main event, Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League squared off against actress Michelle Rodriguez over the question of whether or not “Avatar” deserved to win the Oscar for Best Picture. As you may recall, Rodriguez trained as a boxer for six months for her role in the film “Girlfight.” As for League, well, he played a lot of “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!” as a kid. Here’s how it turned out.