Suzannah Herbert and Lauren Belfer USA / 2018 / 98
Times and Venues:
Bearsville Theater WOODSTOCK
Upstate Films II RHINEBECK
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Suzannah Herbert, Lauren Belfer
JO Johnson High School has been on Alabama's failing schools list for years. But it also possesses a hard-working wrestling team who show their true grit in this nuanced documentary that illuminates the injustices and challenges these young athletes face on and off the mat. As they fight their way towards the State Championship and the doors they hope it will open, wrestlers Jailen, Jamario, Teague, and Jaquan grapple with obstacles that jeopardize their success, while their coach - coming to terms with his own past conflicts - pushes them forward while unwittingly wading into the complexities of class and race in the South. Ultimately, Wrestle is an inspiring coming of age journey and an impassioned depiction of growing up underprivileged in America today. Fast paced and raw, the film keeps us rooted and rooting until the very last match, knowing the boys fate and ability to rise beyond their legacy is at stake. —Gene Fischer
Originally from Memphis, Suzannah Herbert studied documentary filmmaking at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. The first documentary she directed at Tisch, Central Park: The Park at the Center of the World, aired on several local PBS stations. Herbert's senior thesis, Home Game, premiered at DOC NYC, won the audience award for best short film at Indie Memphis Film Festival, and is now on-demand on Snagfilms.com. Herbert was the Associate Producer on Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch, and has since worked as an Assistant Editor on Michael Moore's Where To Invade Next, Fahrenheit 11/9, and Martin Scorsese's unannounced, upcoming documentary. Herbert made her feature directorial debut with Wrestle at the 2018 San Francisco International Film Festival.
Lauren Belfer is a producer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She produced the narrative film After Louie, starring Alan Cumming, and works frequently with Michael Moore, including on the Oscar-shortlisted Where to Invade Next, his 2016 election year treatise Michael Moore in Trumpland, and has been collaborating on his highly anticipated new film Fahrenheit 11/9. She has been the supervising producer for an unannounced documentary directed by Martin Scorsese and produced the feature-length documentary Hotline(Hot Docs 2014). Wrestle is her first feature film.
The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an
annual program and year-round schedule of film, music,
and art-related activities that promote artists, culture,
inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film
Commission promotes sustainable economic development
by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.