Todd Kellstein brings his jaw-dropping doc, Buffalo Girls, into BYOD to discuss the world of Thai children boxers.
While struggling to help their families, Thai girls are followed as they work as children Muay Thai fighters. From their families and personal circumstances to the larger social conditions that lead them to the ring, as well as the film production and working with Sigur Ros on the soundtrack, Todd brings us right into the ring.
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BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
After graduating from New College of Florida, Todd Kellstein offered to help a friend on a senior thesis film. Holding on to a massive light in a rainstorm, Todd had so much fun that he changed his career path from Literature Professor to Filmmaker.
Working his way up through the ranks on film sets, Todd went onto be the creative assistant and second unit director and DP for commercial and music video director Joseph Kahn. As a second-unit director and DP, Todd has worked with Bon Jovi, Sum 41, Ford, Bacardi, Adidas, Nike, Smartcar, Bud Lite and Target. He ventured out on his own and poured his passion into a feature length documentary about Thailand’s underground child boxing economy.
The film, “Buffalo Girls” premiered at the Slamdance Film Festival in 2012 and continues to garner recognition and awards at festivals internationally.
The film sparked interest from the Clinton Foundation, who commissioned a 90-second spot documenting the work the foundation has done to stop the spread of HIV in Malawi. It premiered to a standing ovation at the Foundation’s 10-year celebration at the famed Hollywood Bowl in front of celebrities, dignitaries and the former first family.
Todd currently resides in Los Angeles.
Today on BYOD.
Welcoming Todd Kellstein.
Getting into the world of Thai underground boxing children.
Buffalo Girls, Clip.
Circumstances for the children fighters.
Buffalo Girls, Clip: Girls can box too.
A heart condition and a deal with the spirits.
Asking about where the money goes.
Buffalo Girls, Clip: Motivating them to fight.
Trying to earn a living.
Buffalo Girls, Clip: Fighting through illness.
Champion belts and music by Sigur Ros.
Buffalo Girls, Clip: Father of the fighter.
The specter of the sex trade.
Shooting and editing over three years.
Working in LA and top secret projects.
Financing the project
Buffalo Girls, Clip: The house that boxing built.