Sweet Confidence

Led by MMA fighter Kelly Vilarino, participants of a women's kickboxing class in Arizona share their motivations for participating in this non-traditional sport.

  • Shelby F. Elwood
    The Predator's Trap, Wind Spirits
  • Shelby F. Elwood
    Wind Spirits
  • Shelby F. Elwood
    Gunjal, Trans*cend
  • Bill B. Rainey
    The Predator's Trap, Coming Home
  • Kelly Vilarino
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 27, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Paladino d'Oro Sport Film Festival
    November 25, 2023
    World Premiere
Director Biography - Shelby F. Elwood

SHELBY ELWOOD has been a Director/Writer/Producer since 2000, launching three production companies in the US and Canada. She began her career in Chattanooga TN, directing multi-camera events for clients including The Ballet, The Boys Choir, Girls Choir, and Riverbend Music Festival, later adding promotional and commercial projects for nonprofit/private clients including the Hamilton County Board of Education and IMTA Actors Showcase. She created performance videos, video resumes, video auditions, and the occasional wedding. In Memphis, Shelby moved into narratives, writing/directing music videos, trailers, and short films. As a Film Education Non-profit Board Member, she worked on both sides of the camera with rising filmmakers. While she spends most of her time producing projects for others, Shelby still finds time to direct Narratives and Documentaries.

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Director Statement

This project was born when I saw the beauty - almost choreographed! - of the women's movements as the class worked in unison on the heavy bags. After hearing their respective stories, I knew this would inspire others as it had me. Each time I watch the footage, I come away motivated and uplifted.