As we gear up for some super exciting announcements about our festival weekend, we wanted to make sure that we lay out a little more about the purpose of it – our own story – before the focus falls entirely on those told by others.
When we first got together to discuss the notion of creating Europe's first wrestling film festival, it made for a pretty good night in the pub. Isn't that the way all good ideas go from pie-in-the-sky idea to formulated plan? With beer and friends?
In a cool spot in London (one with video games and cocktails) a tableful of wrestling fans, film editors, writers, sound specialists, visual creators, and hopeful dreamers mulled over a PowerPoint full of fledgling ideas, put together by Dale and Ross in their little corner of Norwich (you can read more about those guys here).
After spending more than two years submerged almost entirely in wrestling (thanks to their THIS.IS.PROGRESS documentary), the former backyard wrestling friends had identified, whether they knew it or not, a way to introduce others into the world they’d been so fortunate to be immersed.
Somehow, they unlocked a new way to show those who already are so invested in this wrestling community more about those who share this space with them; the wrestlers, fans, promoters and storytellers.
At a very base level, wrestling is a tangle of stories. There are those told in the ring, by competitors. There’s the story of how they came to be there in the first place – their journeys to being, somehow, in front of screaming fans in little more than spandex pants and a bit of baby oil.
There’s the story of the promoter who booked them, the crew that make it happen, the fans that pay their entry to see those stories unfold. And there are the stories of those impacted by it all, however small or large that impact may be.
In creating their documentary, Dale and Ross got to tap in to some of those stories, all while writing one of their own. And from that sparked the idea of what would go on to become Burning Hammer. A chance to bring hundreds of people together in one space to talk about wrestling, to watch some films and to get smashed on reasonably-priced booze in the company of friends, old and new.
So they reached out to the rest of us – dotted all over the UK, Europe and the world – to float the idea and to use our own knowledge, and passion, to nurture that spark into a right flaming, Burning Hammer.
And that’s exactly what happened. Now, a group of friends are a committee, and together we’ve moulded a programme that we know you’re going to love. As submissions come in, the more sure we are that you will.
If you can make it to Shoreditch from September 14-16, we hope you’ll grab us in our chill-out space between films to tell us about your own wrestling story – whether you’ve been a fan for years or whether our festival was your first foray into it.
And for our friends all over the world who can’t make it: we’ll be thinking of you, and we’ll make sure we let you know where you can catch the films that will form such an important part of what Burning Hammer Film Festival is set to be.
If you’re in NOLA, enjoy yourself. Hope to see you soon!