Huntington native’s first feature-length film to be shown in select WV theaters Friday

West Virginia

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As movie theaters across the country begin to open for business, new flicks are hitting the big screen, including one directed by a local.

In March 2021, director Tyler Sansom released his first feature film, ‘A Father’s Fight’.

“I’ve loved movies since I was a kid, so I grew up watching all the ‘Rocky’ movies, now the ‘Creed’ movies,” Sansom said. “So it was kind of a natural fit for me.”

The movie follows the redemption story of a once-successful amateur fighter, whose addiction is destroying his life, including his family. For Sansom, a Huntington native, he wanted to incorporate how friendly and family-oriented his home state is into the storyline.

“That lifestyle of growing up in a state like that lends itself to ‘A Father’s Fight’ really well,” Sansom said. “When you watch the movie, you’ll recognize how raw and how real the characters are.

“I didn’t want [the characters] to be super over-the-top or anything. I wanted them to be good, down-to-earth people. I think that my roots in West Virginia of seeing people modeling that helped, especially in the creation of the characters.”

But more importantly, Sansom’s work at his Indiana church, among many things, involves foster care children. With him and his wife becoming first time foster parents recently, this issue is what inspired the fight in this flick.

“These [foster] kids were the innocent victims of their families deciding to fight for things that really didn’t matter, whether that was addiction issues or other relationships or whatever,” Sansom said. “These kids ended up on their own.”

After two years of filming, a slim $30,000 budget and 58 cast and crew members volunteering their own time, all this movie needs is an audience.

“It’s fun to watch, because it’s a boxing film and there’s lots of action,” Sansom said. “But I think it also sparks conversation by the end of it… really challenging you to figure out what you’re actually fighting for.”

The film already racked in two awards from the Chicago Faith and Family Film Festival for New Director and Best Overall Actor.

‘A Father’s Fight’ will be shown on screens at Marquee Cinemas in Huntington, Triadelphia, and Beckley on Friday, April 9. For the Beckley location, showtimes begin at 4:45 p.m.

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