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2010 AFI SILVERDOCS AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER ON INDEPENDENT LENS, JAN 4 AT 10 PM ON PBS

If you don’t live in the Baltimore/Washington area, check your local listings as PBS airs “Independent Lens” at different times in different markets. Repeats are always on the schedule if you happen to miss it the first time. Here was my review form last June’s Festival:

"MEN WHO SWIM" (***-58 minutes)

The North American premier of 40-year-old filmmaker Dylan Williams' lighthearted take on his attempt to combat his impending mid-life crises ends up winning this year's SILVERDOCS Audience Award. Welshman Williams moves to Sweden to live with his Swedish girlfriend, marry, & start a family. No longer able to hold onto dreams of becoming a rock star, and feeling like, excuse the pun, a fish out of water, his new plan is simple & unique: become involved in a men's synchronized swimming team. However, his simple hobby rises to the next level when he & his comrades decide to compete for the unofficial All Male World Championship in Milan as the Stockholm Art Swim Gents. We see the team training and, on the surface, all appears hopeless when their coach quits after seeing the futility of it all. However, the middle age gents are determined to go all out to try to dethrone the world champion Dutch team-despite the physical and sociological obstacles placed before them. (For example, when one media reporter proclaims this is "a sport for homosexuals", one of them proudly replies, "Any sport is for homosexuals, and any sport is for heterosexuals.") A light and humorous look at guys who fervently try to prove that life, indeed, begins after 40-and that, with the proper effort and determination, anything is possible.

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