This New York Socialite Is Tackling an Unexpected Documentary Subject

The New York social fixture's first stab at filmmaking is a knockout

Seth Tringale, Julia Loomis attend the American Ballet Theatre's 75th Anniversary Fall Gala (Photo: Patrick McMullan).
Seth Tringale, Julia Loomis attend the American Ballet Theatre’s 75th Anniversary Fall Gala (Photo: Patrick McMullan).

Julia Loomis is a young patron of The American Ballet Theatre, and a frequent fixture on Manhattan’s gala scene including the annual benefits for The New York Botanical Garden and Save Venice. However, last night Ms. Loomis released a feature length film produced with Steven Cantor and ESPN Films about one very unexpected topic: Boxing. 

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Evander Holyfield (Photo: Brook Christopher for Getty Images)
Evander Holyfield (Photo: Brook Christopher for Getty Images)

Chasing Tyson is the latest installment in ESPN’s wildly popular “30 for 30” series of sports documentaries. This particular rendition directed by Steven Cantor chronicles the infamous “bite fight” between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, who was also present as last night’s premiere at The Paley Center for Media. The film uses all archival material and three key interviews with Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Jim Gray to paint a vivid picture of the most epic fight in boxing history.

Melanie Lazenby, Elizabeth Kurpis, Julia Loomis attend The American Museum of Natural History's 2014 Museum Dance (Photo: Sylvain Gaboury for Patrick Mcmullan)
Melanie Lazenby, Elizabeth Kurpis, Julia Loomis attend The American Museum of Natural History’s 2014 Museum Dance (Photo: Sylvain Gaboury for Patrick Mcmullan)

Ms. Loomis admits it was an unexpected project for her to take on, especially in the eyes of her pals on the party circuit. “They’re of course so taken aback,” she admitted. “I think every single story, no matter what industry it’s in, is rooted in very human ideas. It’s just how I try to explain how I got involved in it. It’s a very human story about 2 individuals who are both so disciplined and work incredibly hard in making a name for themselves. They also wonder how I sort of relate to these people. As a documentary film maker, you have to be empathetic to these circumstances. Just because somebody on the exterior appears a certain a way, that doesn’t mean they can’t relate and connect to all different kinds of stories.”

Jim Gray, Steven Cantor, Evander Holyfield (Photo: Brook Christopher for Getty Images)
Jim Gray, Steven Cantor, Evander Holyfield (Photo: Brook Christopher for Getty Images)

The bright twenty-something, who has a penchant for the ballet, is working on another film focused on Sergei Polunin entitled DANCER. This project turned out to be her foray into the realm of boxing. “I was intrigued by Chasing Tyson since there are many parallels to DANCER,” she said. “It’s three individuals coming up from absolutely nothing, and making names for themselves. In Mike Tyson’s case it’s dealing with the fame, and in Holyfield’s case it’s that he was overshadowed by Tyson’s fame. I always like an underdog story, and also people who are trying to come to terms with what they do with that success when they make it there. It’s almost easier to be at the bottom, because you can stay there. It takes a lot of responsibility to be at the top.” 

Julia Loomis attends The New York City Ballet 2015 Fall Gala (Photo: Nicholas Hunt for Patrick McMullan).
Julia Loomis attends The New York City Ballet 2015 Fall Gala (Photo: Nicholas Hunt for Patrick McMullan).

This New York Socialite Is Tackling an Unexpected Documentary Subject