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Most Valuable Players 2009
Description: Documentary about the Freddy Awards, related to Broadway's Tony Awards, that gives high school musical theater geeks one night of the year to shine in a Pennsylvania city that devotes all its resources to high school sports.
Released: 06 Aug 2010 Director: Matthew D. Kallis Writers: Christopher Lockhart Actors: John Andreadis, Frank Anonia, Shelley Brown, Rita Cortez Genres: Documentary, Comedy, Drama, Family, Musical
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Most Valuable Players Reviews:

Most Valuable Users is one of the most joyful documentaries I have ever seen. Without a doubt, there were some nice docs at this year's Docuweek (LA), but it was MVP that really stood out for me. Although Docuweek is not by their own admission a movie festival and no awards are given, in my opinion this movie takes top prize.The movie opens accessing help for the arts in sports crazy Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. And it doesn't look good. A newspaper editor states that more column inches are devoted to sports than any thing else in his newspaper, and millions are spent to maintain sports facilities, with tiny to nothing being spent on the arts. But as we learn from this entertaining doc, high school theater is also a squad sport. The movie follows three high schools: Freedom, Emmaus and Parkland, and their talented students leading up to the Super Bowl of local musical theater, the Freddy Awards. The brainchild of State Theater CEO Shelly Brown, the annual Freddy's bring together 27 zone high schools, as they compete for Tony like honors. All of which, including the nominations, is broadcast live on TV and streamed on the Internet to large audiences.Freedom High soccer standout and drama geek, John Andreadis, illustrates that there is no conflict between sports and the arts, when adults step aside and allow the children search their way. His parents are supremely understanding and supportive once they realize that the two disciplines are compatible. His drama teacher Jennifer Wesco makes sure that each one of her drama students understands that they do theater for themselves first and foremost, not for trophies and accolades. Parkland High director, Tag Stutz and Emmaus director Jill Kuebler are wonderfully honest and launch cheerleaders for their students, as their two schools war it out at the Freddy's, every with 16 nominations for their competing Les Mis productions.It's the children that profoundly demonstrate that their love for theater transcends all when they join together at what is truly their theater all-star game, The Freddy's.Director Matthew D. Kallis and his writer Christopher Lockhart have made a doc that really scores. For many of these students the Freddy's will be the pinnacle of their theater arts careers, but it's the high school tools that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.


"Most Valuable Players" is a really fun and entertaining documentary that doesn't feel all that much like a documentary. It feels much more like a fiction film. While most documentaries today are filled with tragedy and fight and sadness, MVP offers the opposite. It's filled with music, energy, hope, inspiration and happiness. Yes, documentaries about Iraq remain vital and necessary but MVP reminds us of the American method of life and value system that our troops in Iraq war to preserve. The storyline involves three Pennsylvania high schools that prepare for the Freddy Awards, the local high school ver of Broadway's Tony Awards. The movie talks about the importance of sports and the Freddy Awards feels like a sporting happening itself. Sure enough, I found myself rooting for my favorites in the end. I'm not a fanatic of musicals, and the movie holds off most of the numbers until the large present in the end. By this point, I was ready to watch the children perform and forgot about my musical theater prejudices. I think everyone can relate to children wanting recognition and trying to succeed. Even though not everyone wins, you feel like they're all winners. It's all good-natured fun with some really nice performances by the talented students. But when something unexpected happens, a sobering reality enters the picture. Thankfully, the film's director balances the tone perfectly. Standout moments contain the children learning which students & schools have been nominated, and the Freddy Awards themselves. And each moment spent with the gossipy Katie and Ali is a nice one. It's real that some like their documentaries served up much darker and heavier and might not take to the joyful tone here, but MVP offers up a slice of American life and is an emotionally uplifting movie that has you tearing up and laughing out loud almost at the same time. MVP is a unbelievable gem and well worth seeking out.


I so thoroughly enjoyed "Most Valuable Players" that I hope I can do it justice in my review. I had already read reviews and knew it was a "feel good" film and that it was about performing arts and musical theater set in Pennsylvania. I am not one that usually seeks out a documentary, I prefer stories with a script as I generally search those to be more engaging. I can throw that mentality out the window after seeing this film. There wasn't a moment in which you weren't fully engaged in it, waiting to see what would happen next. I honestly feel that anyone would love it, not only those who are fanatics of theater or musicals. Everyone should search a reason (or two of three) to fall in love with it, it just makes you feel nice about folks and the extraordinary things they can accomplish. The folks in this movie are real, not actors, and are as unique, funny and exceptional as any A-list celebrity I have ever paid to see in a film. I will be very shocked and disappointed if this movie doesn't receive distributed nationally. It's just THAT good!



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