Experiencing Interruptions?

The Wrestling Mantra

Documentary short film following two trainee wrestlers as they prepare to make their professional in-ring debut on the Irish wrestling scene.

  • David O'Neill
    The Shadowboxer
  • David O'Neill
    The Comeback, The Shadowboxer
  • Richie Owens
    Key Cast
  • Stephen O'Grady
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    26 minutes 5 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Underground Cinema
    August 1, 2019
    Irish premiere
    'Best Documentary' Nomination
Director Biography - David O'Neill

Director and Editor with an MA in Digital Film (University of West Scotland, 2019).

My most recent work is 'The Wrestling Mantra', a short documentary film developed for the M.A. creative media practice Masters module with University of West Scotland. It is my second short film and first documentary. I received a first honours grade for the final piece.

My directorial debut 'The Shadowboxer' was shown on RTÉ as part of their Shortscreen programme and I received a 'Best Newcomer' award at Underground Cinema in 2011 for the project.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In late 2017, a friend of many years told me that he was going to start training as a wrestler, at the age of 30. Wrestlers usually start training in their teenage years. But 7 months later I got the news that he had been "booked" to make his professional in-ring debut. You only get to do your first time at anything once and I knew that this was a story that I had to capture on film.

The film was developed for my M.A creative media practice course in Filmbase (associated with University of West Scotland) whereby I had to create a practical project for my final term dissertation.

On the journey, I was impressed by the wrestling coaches and trainees in Fight Factory Pro Wrestling, who graciously agreed to give me an exclusive behind the scenes look at their training facility in East wall. There I was greeted by veterans and young hopefuls all exuding a passion for their craft and exuberance to candidly share with me their inside knowledge.

Wrestling promotions provide a positive alternative to traditional sports with it's mix of athleticism and theatrics as a creative and competitive outlet. And with 'The Wrestling Mantra' we only dip our toes into the waters of this incredible world of Irish wrestling that is rapidly growing around us. But the underlying message I hope others get from the film is that it's never too late to try your hand at something you love.