“Figures Of Speech” is a feature-length documentary that follows a group of high school students from all over the country as they vie for glory in the little-known world of competitive acting, otherwise known as “Speech” or “Forensics”. Over one million students have participated in the activity, which has been around for 90 years – even some celebrities you might recognize, like Oprah Winfrey, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Josh Gad, Zac Efron. But for such a massive sub-culture, surprisingly few people seem to know about it… unless they did it. In fact, our cameras were the FIRST ever allowed into the National Speech and Debate Association’s official competition rounds. At times brutally honest and wickedly funny, the movie brings to life the rush of live Speech competition and incorporates the drama of a coming-of-age story. Each team must grapple with their own challenges: parental pressure, academic stress, sexual identity, failure, success and falling in love. We’re with them as they learn to work together creatively, physically and emotionally. We want this film to raise awareness for Speech Teams around the country, as they – like so many arts programs in our schools today – must constantly struggle to stay alive.
Narrated by Chris Pine Directed by Ari Levinson