Winning Isn't Always Black and White


Emily Abt's emotionally powerful feature, TOE TO TOE, tells the story of a love/hate relationship between lacrosse mates Tosha and Jesse, two senior girls at the competitive Washington, D.C., prep school. Tosha is a fiercely determined African American scholarship student from Anacostia, one of Washington's poorest areas, while Jesse is a privileged, but troubled, white girl from Bethesda, who deals with promiscuous tendencies that pull her toward self-destruction. The two forge a close and genuine friendship on the field, but that bond is tested when the obstacles presented by societal circumstances threaten to tear them apart. Abt draws penetrating performances from bright, young talents Louisa Krause (Jesse) and Sonequa Martin (Tosha). Together they craft a complex story rich with nuance and authenticity, avoiding predictability and challenging tired racial narratives. Inspired by the disturbing fact that interracial friendships end at age 14 for 87 percent of American teenagers, TOE TO TOE is a powerful reminder of the transforming power of honesty and the way that those who test us often make us better.

- The Sundance Film Festival


92Y Tribeca, Brooklyn International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Florida International Film Festival, Newport Film Festival, Skip City International D-Cinema Festival, Chesapeake Film Festival, Fusion Film Festival

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"TOE TO TOE gives an unusually honest, compassionate and challenging view of contemporary youth, neither sugarcoated nor prurient...If TOE TO TOE were a young adult novel, it would be embraced and argued about in classrooms and eagerly read by thoughtful teenage girls throughout the country...The film's observations about race, class and friendship are clear and accessible without being overly didactic...this ethical seriousness is the real distinction of TOE TO TOE."