Part of SFFILM Festival
During the 2016 Olympics, the Indianapolis Star broke the news that USA Gymnastics had been covering up incidents of sexual abuse by coaches for years. Once public, it sparked women to come forward to report abusive experiences by elite sports doctor Larry Nassar that ultimately landed him in jail. Heart-wrenching and timely, Athlete A follows the investigation of Nassar and USA Gymnastics in parallel with testimony from survivors that spans decades, revealing the dark and devastating truth of a sport that prioritizes winning above all else.
“I just love gymnastics…it teaches you to be strong, to be independent,” says National Champion Maggie Nichols. This strength is on full display by Nichols and the multiple women that speak about their trauma. With interviews from investigators, the reporters that broke the story, and current and former top athletes, including Jennifer Sey (author of Chalked Up), filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (Audrie & Daisy, Festival 2016) humanize the headlines to reveal that this was not the act of just one person but a systemic problem that could no longer be silenced.
Bonni Cohen is a documentary writer, director, and producer. Among her films are The Rape of Europa (Festival 2007), Audrie & Daisy (Festival 2016), and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017). She is also the co-founder of the Catapult Film Fund.
Jon Shenk is a cinematographer and camera operator as well as a documentary director and producer. His films include Lost Boys of Sudan (Festival 2003), winner of the Film Independent Spirit Awards Stranger Than Fiction Award and SFFILM’s Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary Feature; The Island President (2011); Audrie & Daisy (Festival 2016); and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017).