The Champion

A former Iraqi boxing champion, Estaifan Shilaita overcomes tremendous hardships as he builds a special bond with his family and taxi cab customers in Chicago.

  • Patrick McGowan
    Director
  • Brett Garamella
    Director
  • Noah Shulman
    Motion Graphics
  • Nathan McGarigal
    Cinematography (Boxing)
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    12,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    RED, C300, 5D
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Aspen Shortsfest
    Aspen, Colorado
    April 10, 2015
    North American Premiere
    Best Documentary Short
  • Palm Springs International Short Fest
    Palm Springs, CA
    June 18, 2015
    Official Selection: Audience Favorites, Documentaries
  • SF DocFest
    San Francisco, CA
    June 18, 2015
  • Rhode Island Film Festival
    Providence, Rhode Island
    August 8, 2015
    Grand Prize Audience Award
  • Milwaukee Film Festival
    Milwaukee, WI
    September 27, 2015
  • Heartland Film Festival
    Indianapolis, IN
    October 20, 2015
  • Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
    Missoula, MT
    February 22, 2016
  • Fargo Film Festival
    Fargo, ND
    March 19, 2016
    Best Documentary Short
  • Independent Film Festival of Boston
    Somerville, MA
    April 30, 2016
  • Maryland Film Festival
    Baltimore, MD
    May 6, 2016
Director Biography - Patrick McGowan, Brett Garamella

Brett Garamella is a filmmaker and photographer currently based in Los Angeles. He met Mr. Shilaita back in 2009 and knew that he needed to tell his story. He felt a natural connection to Estaifan like many people who have met him.

Patrick McGowan is a director and editor based in New York City.

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Director Statement

Brett and Patrick have been passionate about telling this story for the past four years. Over that time, the Shilaitas have made them feel like family. They feel that viewers of the film will share a connection to Estaifan, Hannah, and their story.