The Fits

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    The Fits

    Directed by



    71 min

    • English


    Toni, a tomboyish boxer, lands a spot on an after- school drill team in the West End community of Cincinnati. Enamored by the power and confidence of the team, Toni eagerly absorbs routines, masters drills, and even pierces her own ears to fit in. As Toni descends deeper into the girls’ world, the lingering nostalgia for her brother’s guidance fades away. We witness the joy of her first friendships and her discovery of dance. Yet, she grapples with her individual identity amid her newly defined social sphere. Shortly after Toni joins the team, the captain faints during practice. By the end of the week, most of the girls on the team suffer from episodes of fainting, swooning, and shaking in a seemingly uncontrollable catharsis. The adults in their community cannot explain the mysterious outbreak. Tension mounts. Soon, these fits transform into a rite of passage as the trauma draws the other girls closer together. Caught between her need for control and her desire for acceptance, Toni must decide how far she will go to embody her new ideals.


    • Aurora Award - Tromsø IFF
    • Best Narrative Feature, Best Actress (Royalty Hightower) - RiverRun IFF



    Royalty Hightower
    Makyla Burnam
    Da'Sean Minor
    Alexis Neblett
    Inayah Rodgers
    Antonio A.B. Grant Jr.
    Saela Davis
    Anna Rose Holmer
    Lisa Kjerulff
    Paul Yee
    Saela Davis
    Danny Bensi
    Saunder Jurriaans

    Director's Statement

    At its heart, THE FITS is a meditation on movement as seen from the perspective of teenage girls. The film explores the particularly adolescent female phenomenon of mass hysteria, also known as mass psychogenic illness. The rapid spread of symptoms affects members of a cohesive group whereby physical ills have no corresponding organic cause. THE FITS juxtaposes the precise, powerful, and intentional movements of drill with subconscious, spontaneous, and uncontrolled movements of collective hysterics.

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    Festival Bookings


    A rough-diamond discovery.

    David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

    A classy, thoughtful character study.

    Amber Wilkinson, Eye For Film

    Unusual and charming debut.

    David D'Arcy, Screen Daily

    Muted yet bold, tiny yet audacious.

    Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

    Exhibits a rhythm all its own as unique and spirited as the girls’ dancing.

    Elissa Suh, Notebook

    Impressive things to come from its confident, capable director.

    Nick Schager, Variety

    Anna Rose Holmer

    Anna Rose Holmer


    The not knowing is what’s so scary.

    Anna Rose Holmer works as a director, producer, and camerawoman on documentary, narrative, commercial, and experimental content. She was selected as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s '25 New Faces of Independent Film' 2015. Anna’s narrative directorial debut film, THE FITS, was selected as one of three projects for the 3rd Edition of the Venice Biennale College. THE FITS premiered at the 72nd Venice Film Festival in September 2015. It also showed at Sundance.