The Maestro

Logline: As Rob Kellum faces a menacing opponent across the ring, his only concern is how to tell the best story.

Synopsis: For Rob Kellum, professional wrestling is a form of storytelling. A wrestling match traces a narrative arc, requiring wrestlers to be as artistic as they are athletic. Following Rob as he prepares for and competes in a highly anticipated wrestling match, “The Maestro” offers a unique look into one professional wrestler’s creative process.

  • Ned Phillips
  • Bradley Bethel
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 16, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, HD, Canon C500
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • RiverRun International Film Festival
    Winston-Salem, NC
    United States
    April 22, 2018
    World Premiere
Director Biography - Ned Phillips

Ned Phillips is a filmmaker based in Durham, North Carolina. He has shot and edited multiple films, including the documentary feature TRUTH UNDERGROUND, which played at Cucalorus, RiverRun International Film Festival, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, and others. Ned was also the director of cinematography for G Yamazawa's music video "North Cack," which has gained more than four million views on Facebook. "The Maestro" is Ned's directorial debut.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I first met Rob “The Maestro” Kellum on a film set where he had a bit part as a Russian circus strongman. He was, far and away, the most courteous person there. He thanked everyone constantly, which made learning he was a former WCW superstar all the more surprising. His humble manner seemed out of place for someone who had toured the world at the top of his craft, and I was even more intrigued to learn he was still wrestling.

Rob revealed that he didn’t think of himself as an athlete in the ring, but rather as a physical storyteller. He painted a picture of Shakespearean heroes and villains, of character arcs that lasted decades, and of a commitment to the audience experience that was particularly heartfelt. With “The Maestro,” I wanted to offer a seldom-seen peek behind the curtain of a professional storyteller, who, despite an ever-changing career trajectory, lives to touch lives with tales off the turnbuckle.