The General was a hit this past weekend as Hamilton residents, Colgate alumni, and film enthusiasts poured into the Hamilton Movie Theater. The documentary, which focuses on the 1990 Colgate men’s hockey team, was the final film presented at the 5th annual Hamilton International Film Festival.
The four-day festival, presented by Slater Brothers Entertainment, featured award-winning documentaries, short films, the newest work of young artists, and more.
The General was produced and directed by two of the three Slater brothers, Todd and Grant ’91. It follows the hockey team’s ascension to the national championship under their father, the late coach Terry Slater.
Many alumni who played under Slater, including members of the 1990 team, made their way back to Hamilton for the premiere and to celebrate the life of their former coach.
The documentary highlights how Raiders fans from the village of Hamilton and from around the country bonded with the team as the players overcame long odds to make it to the finals.
The General wasn’t the only film that was well received by festivalgoers. This year’s other featured films – Long Shot, Fight Like a Girl, and A Cricket in the Court of Akbar, – were all thought-provoking and inspirational documentaries.
“It may seem like they’re about sports at first,” said Todd Slater, “but they’re actually about people overcoming adversity.”
Long Shot follows the true story of Kevin Laue, a man who overcame all odds to become the first scholarship basketball player in the NCAA with only one arm.
In Fight Like a Girl, filmmaker Jill Morley explores the world of female boxing, and more importantly the adversity that these athletes struggle to overcome. Depression, suicide, racism – the women are faced with many challenges, and overcome them with tenacity and courage.
Andrew Mendelson, a sitar player from Texas, travels to India as the first American to ever participate in the largest music competition in Rajasthan in A Cricket in the Court of Akbar. The documentary delves into clashing cultures as he struggles to gain approval as an outsider in the world of classical Indian music.
This year’s festival showcased the power of the human spirit, and judging by the reactions of those watching the films, it was a message that resonated in a powerful way.