I went into TRI with very high expectations, and I’m delighted to say the film exceeded them all. TRI, which is currently screening in select cities in US and Canada, has already won several awards. Just to name a few honors, it won Film of the Year at the at the Northern Virginia International Film and Music Festival (NOVA), the NOVA Award, Best Actress (Jensen Jacobs), and Best Family/ Faith Based Film. Director Jai Jamison’s drama has certainly made an impact on the film world in a very short amount of time.
TRI follows the story of Natalie, played by Jensen Jacobs. Natalie is a medical technician, with a history of quitting, who is inspired by a cancer patient to enter her first triathlon. Despite her skeptical best friend and husband, Natalie trains for the Nation’s Triathlon, which is an Olympic level race. With the support of her new triathlete family, Natalie finds out how far she can truly push herself.
The movie itself is expertly crafted. The cinematography and editing are beautiful. I love the way the film makers use “found footage,” of other runners, such as an inspirational character named Julie Moss, barely finishing her own triathlon. It feels very authentic. The writing is genius. While this movie is a drama, it still has funny moments. I laughed out loud several times. The characters are very relatable and real. I love the relationships that Natalie develops with her loved ones, and the team of triathletes she trains with. Each character is compelling, and comes with a unique and intriguing story.
As viewers, we are introduced, along with Natalie, to the world of triathlons. This is significant for several reasons. First, Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, yet this is the first scripted narrative about triathlons that was made for theatrical release. Second, this is a female empowerment movie. Women make up a vast majority of the finishers of endurance sports, and this film gives women a chance to shine and to show that women are capable of anything.
I also love that another purpose of triathlons, which this film deeply explores, is seeking hope and support for everyone who has to deal with cancer. Everyone, from victims of the disease, to the family members of those afflicted, and those who treat the disease are represented. Many people in the film run triathlons in honor of loved ones who suffer from cancer, or in honor of their own fight against cancer. It shows viewers that there is always support and no one is ever completely alone.
The film leaves you feeling like you can accomplish anything. Race to go see Tri. It’s worth every single award.