Murderball (movie)

Murderball is a 2005 American documentary about athletes who are physically disabled [1] who play wheelchair rugby . It centers on the rivalry between the Canadian and US teamsleading up to the 2004 Paralympic Games . It was directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro , and produced by Jeffrey V. Mandel and Shapiro. It was nominated for theBest Documentary Feature for the 78th Academy Awards . [2] Murderball Was the first MTV movie released through ThinkFilm as well asParticipant Media .

UN screening

The film was screened at the United Nations uncut. One of its stars, Mark Zupan , winced when describing how embarrassed he was to have his mother hears about the lives of people with quadriplegia .


Murderball was shot on a low budget. The main camera used was a Panasonic AG-DVX100 ; a Sony PD150 Was used to shoot Reviews some of the early interviews. The crew rigged Sennheiser shotgun microphone to use a boom, and relied heavily on Lavaliere wireless microphones as well. Available lighting was used almost exclusively. Additional light was provided using an inexpensive china ball . In one example of on-the-spot lighting, a flashlight was diffused using only a napkin. [3]


Murderball garnered almost universally positive reviews; it currently holds a 98% ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes . [4] This film is also # 1 on the Rotten Tomatoes countdown of the top sports movies. [5] Murderball also received positive reviews from [6] and Roger Ebert , who said “This is one of those rare docs, like Hoop Dreams , where life provides a better ending than the filmmakers could have hoped for.” [7]


Award Category Container result
Sundance Film Festival Audience Award Best Documentary Feature Won
78th Academy Awards Best Documentary Feature Nominated
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature Won
Indianapolis International Film Festival Audience Award Best Feature Movie Won
Best Non-Fiction Movie Won


  1. Jump up^ “A layperson’s guide to wheelchair rugby classification” (PDF) . International Wheelchair Rugby Federation . Retrieved 2013-01-30 .
  2. Jump up^ “NY Times: Murderball” . NY Times . Retrieved 2008-11-23 .
  3. Jump up^ “Murderball + Monster Man”. Double Feature. June 4, 2009
  4. Jump up^ Murderball atRotten Tomatoes
  5. Jump up^ TopRotten TomatoesSports Movies18 November 2010
  6. Jump up^ Murderball (2005)
  7. Jump up^ Ebert, Roger(July 21, 2005). “Murderball”.

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