Everything but Fear

This film is available for the run of the festival starting the day of Thanksgiving 2021. To watch or to vote for this film please click on the orange “TICKETS” button below and purchase a ticket for BLOCK 3.  You also have the option to buy the Movie Buff Pass to watch all the films of the festival until December 15, 2021.


A short documentary about the life of boxing trainer Francisco Mendez, who immigrated from a small town in Mexico, achieved his American Dream of opening a boxing gym, but then faced his greatest challenge — COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic in New York City.

952aba6111 headshotDirector Biography – Bryan TwZ Brousseau

Bryan TwZ Brousseau is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City. He’s been a director, associate producer, and cinematographer for numerous documentaries that have won National Sports Emmy Awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award for Video Feature, and a New York Press Award. These pieces include Dream On: Stories of Boston’s Strongest, “The Courage Game,” a short documentary about 12-year-old, openly gay lacrosse player Braeden Lange, and “Tragic State: The Story of Magomed Abdusalamov.” His most recent projects include “The Return,” an award-winning short documentary about former Pittsburgh Steeler running back and Army veteran Rocky Bleier’s return to Vietnam, and the feature documentary When New York was One: The Yankees, The Mets & The 2000 Subway Series. He is currently a producer on The Last Call, a feature documentary about how COVID-19 has affected the hospitality industry in New York City.

Director Statement

During the COVID-19 shutdown in New York City, I walked by Mendez Boxing and saw flowers and condolence notes mounded in front of the gym’s locked doors. I called Ricky Ray Taylor, a trainer at Mendez, and he confirmed that Francisco Mendez, the founder of Mendez Boxing Gym, had died of COVID-19. It was shocking news, as I had trained many times at Mendez and saw first-hand how the incredible sense of community there flowed from Francisco. After I got off the phone with Ricky Ray, I knew that I had to tell Francisco Mendez’s story.

Filmed during the height of the pandemic in New York City, my initial goal was to tell the story of Francisco Mendez as a boxing trainer within the New York City boxing community. But as I interviewed trainers, boxers, and family members, I soon found that his story was much larger. His whole life was defined by family, hard work, and the pursuit of the American Dream.

As a filmmaker, I am drawn to the narratives, personalities, and lives surrounding sports and community. I am truly honored that the Mendez Boxing family has trusted me to tell Francisco’s story.

Category: Uncategorized