Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

Doglegs 2015

Directed by Heath Cozens Framing Reality

Guest expat Kiwi filmmaker Heath Cozens presents his provocative documentary about members of a Tokyo fight club where the disabled enter the ring to battle each other and the able-bodied.

Japan / USA In Japanese with English subtitles
89 minutes DCP

Director/Producer/ Photography


Heath Cozens
Andrea Mendoza


Sean Crownover


‘Sambo’ Shintaro
‘Antithesis’ Kitajima
Nakajima Yuki
Mrs L’Amant


Hot Docs
Fantastic Fest 2015


Heath Cozens will be in attendance at both screenings

“In a renegade Tokyo pro-wrestling league, the disabled battle the able-bodied in the name of smashing stereotypes. A paraplegic husband fights his wife. The handicapped champ pummels his mentor. But this is no freak show. In Doglegs, we witness a radical reclamation of labels and identities taking place in the ring. The wrestlers don’t define themselves according to their disabilities, instead one identifies as a ‘drunk cross-dresser’ while another lays claim to ‘loser’.

Some want to be seen as invulnerable and vicious, while others look for the opposite reaction. Doglegs is a confrontational, complex and provocative film that takes potentially offensive and outrageous subject matter and re-frames it, empowering the kick-ass characters to speak for themselves. They brawl – literally and figuratively – in an active, self-determined way that would never fly in society, and beat the living prejudice out of all challengers.” — Angie Driscoll, Hot Docs

“I discovered that I had preconceptions and prejudices – politically correct prejudices. So I hope that people can avoid a knee-jerk reaction to the controversial topic of the film and allow themselves to go on a ride with me.” — Heath Cozens, Wall St Journal

Expat New Zealand filmmaker Heath Cozens lived in Japan for 18 years. He attends NZIFF screenings with funding assistance from the Japan Foundation.