Dir. Topher Straus
“ATTACKMEN” refers to the players on a Lacrosse team positioned to score the most points in this aggressive sport. And Lacrosse means everything to Jordan Simms (Nick Slatkin) and Chris Wheatley (Ryan Carlberg), two high school seniors from different religious traditions who come to realize, as a life-changing game nears, that their parents' values aren't the same as their own.
Nick’s concept was loosely based on his own personal experiences of growing up Jewish and attending an Episcopal school. I realized I too had strong personal ties to the story. Like both of the main characters, I had been under extreme pressure to be who my father wanted me to be, specifically anything but a filmmaker. Athletics, including Lacrosse, had also played a central part of my adolescent development. And team sports are such a fundamental element in how I approach directing, that my on-set nickname has become “Coach.”
The Attackmen reveals issues which are sadly very prevalent in our culture today: anti-Semitism, gay rights, and authoritarianism. It is our hope that this short film provokes people to question, debate, and analyze these issues. The Attackmen encourages a basic understanding between people, and an appreciation of our differences, whatever they may be.
- Topher Straus