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Bess Kargman, 2011
USA | Format: 35mm | 94 minutes
Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world's most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake. In the final round, with hundreds competing for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, practice and discipline are paramount, and nothing short of perfection is expected. Bess Kargman's award-winning documentary, First Position, follows six young dancers as they prepare for a chance to enter the world of professional ballet, struggling through bloodied feet, near exhaustion and debilitating injuries, all while navigating the drama of adolescence. A showcase of awe-inspiring talent, tenacity and passion, First Position paints a thrilling and moving portrait of the most gifted young ballet stars of tomorrow.
"Bess Kargman, a former dancer, directs with sensitivity and care. She knows her subject and spares no details in showing the myriad ways dancers sacrifice their lives for their art." —Rex Reed, The New York Observer
"A slam dunk when it comes to audience love." —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“Touching, enormously satisfying.” —Alissa Simon, Variety