Former USA National Champion and FIG World Class Gymnast Beth Landeche has been busy since retiring from the sport in 2013. In the four years since her last Acro competition as a women’s pair with partner Nicole Barrilleaux, she has been relishing a new role — that of a college student. Landeche graduated in May with a degree in Film and Television from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA, and her senior project was a documentary short on the sport she loved since the age of 10: acrobatics.
The documentary film follows two acro partnerships from her home gym, Crescent City Gymnastics (CCG) in New Orleans, LA. Samantha Conway & Lally Seither, a Jr Elite 13-19 women’s pair, and Nate Brooks & Brody Seither, a Jr Elite 12-18 men’s pair, are all junior national team members training under CCG head coach, Gawain Dupree. The film includes personal interviews with the athletes and glimpses into the training life of elite acrobats.
When asked why she chose to begin this project, Landeche said, “I wanted to make this film to share why acro is so unique which is because it’s a partnered sport and we rely on each other so much. I hope to one day when I have the time and money to turn this into a feature length film to explore acro around the country and the world. I hope to finally get acro the exposure it needs.”
Acrobatic Gymnastics, or acro for short, has been a gymnastics discipline in Europe since the early 20th century and was established in the United States in the 1970s. While not currently an Olympic sport, acro has been gaining notability with the general public thanks in part to groups like Acro Army, who were finalists on the 9th season of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. In 2018, acro will have it’s debut in the Youth Olympic Games, hopefully paving the way for the sport to one day achieve Olympic status.
Landeche’s film, titled Hand to Hand, will debut in the Austin Spotlight Film Festival this month. It’s also been entered into the Louisiana International Film Festival, the TIFF Kids International Film Festival in Canada, the Nantucket Film Festival, and the Kew Gardens Film Festival later this year.
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