DiBella’s newly minted BK Blu Productions and Jackson’s Cheetah Vision Films have joined to present the film, a look at late boxer Johnny Tapia. It’s a Synthetic Creatures Production directed by Eddie Alcazar in association with Eric Drath’s Live Star Entertainment.
“Tapia” will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 15, then screen again on June 18.
“Tapia” explores the boxer’s mastery with five world titles in three weight classes and his personal demons, including his mother’s kidnapping and murder when he was 8 years old and his drug addiction and near death experiences. Alcazar was filming Tapia in the weeks before the fighter’s death last year at age 45.
The film also features interviews with Mike Tyson, trainer Freddie Roach and Tapia’s widow Teresa. Jackson and DiBella are exec producing.
Jackson, whose producing credits include “Righteous Kill,” “Twelve” and “Things Fall Apart,” first saw the film a month ago.
“I was drawn to the intensity of this project,” he said. “His story resonated with me because like Tapia, I too lost my mother to violence and grew up with limited means. It’s a heartfelt story and it was important for me to get involved with bringing this to a broader audience.”
Jackson told Variety he will be looking to find distribution for “Tapia” during the film festival. He admitted that he was surprised to find himself in the documentary business.
“This wasn’t exactly on my list of things to do but I’m always looking for new areas,” he said.
Earlier this week, Sundance Channel ordered six episodes of reality show “Dream School” from Jackson and Jamie Oliver, who created the format in the U.K. The show centers on troubled teens who are inspired to turn their lives around as they are taught by leading professionals in different fields, be it musicians, politicians, filmmakers or scientists.