Docs

Wrestling School

Vancouver-based Make Believe Media is in the lucky position of capitalizing on the popularity of the Oscar-nominated feature The Wrestler with its new docusoap This Wrestling Life. Lynn Booth, president of Make Believe Media and co-producer of the project, touts it as a 'fun, feel-good doc about a group of people who have it rough.'
March 2, 2009

Vancouver-based Make Believe Media is in the lucky position of capitalizing on the popularity of Oscar-nominated feature The Wrestler with its new docusoap This Wrestling Life. Lynn Booth, president of Make Believe Media and co-producer of the project, touts it as a ‘fun, feel-good doc about a group of people who have it rough.’

The docusoap is set in Surrey, British Columbia, where it’s not an easy place to grow up. A group of young people have enrolled in a wrestling training school called the Slam Academy, which, according to Booth, is basically a wrestling ring in the middle of a warehouse. Scotty Mac, a well-known wrestler in Western Canada, is the lead character; as a teacher at the Academy, his lessons include developing wrestling personas, training five days a week, and creating costumes. Five students are followed over the course of a year, sharing their dreams of entertaining and making it into the ring. Booth says the docusoap also deals with topics of bigotry and chauvinism in a humanistic environment.

‘The most exciting young person in the Academy is Travis, who is just turning 18 and graduating high school, ‘ she says. ‘His big struggle is giving up his job at A&W and committing to this wrestling life.’

The docusoap is directed by first-time helmer Stephen Gillis and is available in a 6 x 30-minute series or 1 x 90-minute feature, currently in post production and to be delivered in the fall. The feature has been pre-sold to Superchannel in Canada and both the feature and series of This Wrestling Life are going to MIPTV in April.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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