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'Undefeated' directors discuss Oscar nod

February 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
"Undefeated" tells the story of the 2009 season of the Manassas Tigers, a football team whose young players have lived through tough times on and off the field.

A volunteer coach, Bill Courtney, helps them turn their program and their lives around.

The two LA-based documentary filmmakers spent nine months on location in north Memphis, Tenn. and learned some hard knock lessons from this struggling community.

"From day one we knew we wanted to tell a more of human interest piece and we wanted to make, we saw an opportunity to tell a "coming of age" story and football just happens to be the back drop," co-director TJ Martin said.

"You quickly find out that they're not going to go undefeated," said co-director Dan Lindsay. "That was important for us so that the audience knew from the beginning that this wasn't about wins and losses. This was about a team of people struggling against adversity um and trying to overcome that adversity."

Martin and Lindsay are the co-captains of this big screen project and shared the major behind-the scenes work on "Undefeated."

"We have the same kind of toolbox we can very easily communicate with each other, we don't have to explain anything to each other because we know the things that we need from directing stand point, from a camera stand point, from an editing stand point.

And what do they think about being part of this year's class of Academy Award nominees?

"The honor is to be recognized by your peers for your work is incredible, but for us, the biggest thing is it's an honor to the people in the community we profiled," Lindsay said.