- Posted October 12, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
iReport at the movies
Award Winning Documentary about High Speed College Debate, Fast Talk, just released on iTunes
Cross X Productions’ award-winning feature documentary about college debate, Fast Talk, directed by Debra Tolchinsky, tracks the Northwestern University debate team as it tries for a second consecutive championship while simultaneously examining why debaters now talk so fast (upwards to 500 words per minute) and how their arguments are unintelligible and inconsequential to a non-debate audience. Clearly there are benefits to fast-talking--more arguments presented in a shorter amount of time. But is there a dark side? Has debate slowly morphed from an activity meant to train young minds to an activity meant to train winners regardless of whether or not they know how to communicate or form nuanced arguments. Regardless, as the film shows, there is much to admire about the present state of debate: Coach Scott Deatherage cares deeply about his team and the debaters are whip smart, committed, and tenacious.
Some viewers have responded to Fast Talk as a sports film as it depicts a nail-biting competition along the lines of Spellbound. Other viewers have responded to the film's strong characters, including Deatherage but also Josh Branson, the intense team star who is trying to repeat his previous victory, and Noah Chestnut, Branson's debate partner, who struggles with being overshadowed.
Fast Talk was named Best Documentary at the LA Femme International Film Festival (2011) and the Iowa Film Festival (2012) and Best Feature Documentary at Chagrin Documentary Film Festival (2013), in addition to garnering a Golden Reel Award from the Nevada Film Festival, an Award of Excellence and an Award of Merit (for editing) from the Indie Fest, an Accolade Award, and awards from the Los Angeles Cinema Festival. The film has also received good press from the Chicago Tribune--"arresting images" and "deservedly won a fistful of awards”, the Chicago Reader -- "Fast Talk . . . delves into the world of modern college debate, where the quantity of arguments has long since trumped the niceties of elocution" and the Onion A.V. Club--"Tolchinsky reveals collegiate debate as a subculture that strikes outsiders as completely bizarre."
Infused with touches of whimsy, Fast Talk beautifully captures the intensity, drive and absurdity of the mile-a-minute world of college debate, while reflecting on the larger issue of our own accelerated lives.
Fast Talk is directed by Debra Tolchinsky and produced by Ron Ward, David E. Tolchinsky and Debra Tolchinsky for Cross X Productions. The running time is 56 minutes.
More info about the film can be found on its web site -- http://Fasttalkthemovie.com or Facebook site -- http://facebook.com/fastTalktheMovie.