Austin Film Festival Review: Fathers of Football

High school football doc keeps to the playbook

Wagoner, a town in Oklahoma nearing 9,000, is a communal close-knit group that eagerly awaits the Friday of each week. At least, this is the impression you get from Fathers of Football, the new Kickstarter-funded documentary by Sooner State native-turned-Austin resident Bradley Beesley.

The Wagoner Bulldogs, who hold the longest winning streak of any high school team in the state, are more than just a sport for this town. They represent the best of small-town life for everyone, on-field and off.

Beesley’s work covers some familiar material, documenting the hardships of a season containing obstacles that can be gathered from any episode of Friday Night Lights. Everyone in and adjacent to the team is in his spotlight, noting the trials of academia, parental neglect, personal health, etc. as the school year moves on.

His and the film's intentions are overwhelmingly sincere. The camera is eager to find connective tissue from everyone that walks through its path, but it’s difficult not to question who this is for outside of the die-hard fans of the sport and the Wagoner resident.


Austin Film Festival 2018, Oct. 25 - Nov. 1. Tickets and info at austinfilmfestival.com.

Find more of our AFF coverage, including news, reviews, and interviews, at austinchronicle.com/AFF.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More by Julian DeBerry
Holiday Gifts for Fans of the Big and Small Screen
Holiday Gifts for Fans of the Big and Small Screen
From essential box sets to writers’ wisdom: stocking fillers and the gifts that keep on giving for your watching pleasure

Dec. 7, 2018

The Austin Film Society's Noir Canon Travels the Mean Streets
The Austin Film Society's Noir Canon Travels the Mean Streets
The city is the star of the recent AFS film series

Nov. 23, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Austin Film Festival 2018, AFF 2018, Austin Film Festival, Fathers of Football, Bradley Beesley, Football, Documentary

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle