Watch the LIVE ONLINE PREMIERE Wed. May 20, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Over the past nine months, I have had many conversations that go as followed.
Me: I’m currently producing a documentary.
Them: What’s it about?
Me: Professional wrestling.
Them: Are you serious?
It’s never what people expect to hear. But it’s true. I love it.
Professional wrestling. It’s such a multi-faceted, ever-changing entertainment industry. From wrestling styles to gear, to music, to long-lasting feuds, to promo videos, to real-world drama there are so many pieces that come together to make a good wrestling show. But arguably none as important as the relationship between the performers and the audience.
As an avid pro-wrestling fan, I am continuously inspired by in-ring performers, their individual journeys, and how the incredibly dynamic industry works. 2019’s WWE WrestleMania 35 saw the first black WWE champion and first WrestleMania women’s main event leaving fans feeling elated, empowered, and inspired. I began to think and discuss with others more deeply about how moments like these could bring tears of joy. The answer I found is that unlike any other medium, audiences play a direct and active role in shaping the narratives in wrestling. They are part of the journey, the energy, and the story. It’s also why positive representation is so important. Because with it, this medium can create such impactful, powerful, and deeply personal stories.
In creating this documentary, I wanted to show pro-wrestling as a one of a kind platform that thrives on representation, diversity, and unique narratives that engage and connect with audiences.
Wrestling With Identity is a short documentary diving into the dynamic independent pro-wrestling scene in NYC, showcasing how the energetic and powerful storytelling medium connects performers and audiences with narratives of identity and self-expression.
In producing the film, I worked with companies, promoters, and performers in New York’s indie wrestling scene. Everyone was very open and appreciative to tell their stories. Many shared how their own personal identities play a role in their wrestling career. And how identity goes far beyond what we may normally think of, like race, sexual orientation, or gender; but how more personal elements of inspiration, interests, struggles, connections, trials, and values are what makes people connect with them in and out of the ring. In that way, wrestling becomes an outlet of expression.
Wrestling With Identity will premiere on Wednesday, May 20th at 7 p.m. as part of Marymount Manhattan College’s Media Arts Showcase and will be available to watch online for 2 weeks.
Follow the link this Wednesday at 7 p.m. to watch the LIVE online premiere. Stay tuned to the end of the film showcase for a live Q&A and audience voting.
There is still work to be done!
I am currently seeking funding and support for production, post-production, and film festival expenses. If you would like to contribute to the film or have further questions, please email email@example.com?.
For more information and updates on the film check out the webpage here.
Photos courtesy of Sofia Pipolo.