May 20, 2019


Suzannah Herbert and Lauren Belfer

Wrestle is an intimate portrait of an Alabama high school wrestling team as they face challenges on and off the mat.


About the Documentary

Wrestle goes inside the lives of four members of the high school wrestling team at Huntsville’s J.O. Johnson High School–a longstanding entry on Alabama’s list of failing schools. Teammates Jailen, Jamario, Teague, and Jaquan show that needing a win can be about much more than just beating your opponent on the mat, as they face challenges that go far beyond a shot at the state championship. As their tough love coach Chris Scribner comes to terms with his own past while wading into the complexities of race, class and privilege, these determined kids push each other to be accountable not just to their coach but to themselves. Wrestle is a closely observed, deeply affecting depiction of growing up disadvantaged in America.

The Filmmakers

Suzannah Herbert

Suzannah Herbert is originally from Memphis, Tennessee. Her NYU Tisch senior thesis, Home Game, premiered at DOC NYC. Herbert was the associate producer on Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, directed by Shola Lynch, and has since worked as an assistant editor on Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next and Fahrenheit 11/9, and Martin Scorsese's upcoming documentary, Rolling Thunder Revue, about Bob Dylan’s pivotal 1975 tour. Herbert made her feature directorial debut with Wrestle, which won 11 awards on the 2018 festival circuit and was distributed theatrically by Oscilloscope in 2019.

Lauren Belfer

Lauren Belfer is a producer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Most recently she was the line and field producer on Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story (Netflix 2019), and she has frequently collaborated with Michael Moore, having worked on Fahrenheit 11/9, Trumpland, and the Oscar-shortlisted Where to Invade Next. Belfer produced the narrative feature After Louie (BFI 2017), starring Alan Cumming, and the documentary Hotline (Hot Docs 2014). Belfer’s directorial debut, Wrestle, garnered 11 awards on the festival circuit, including two audience awards and the Maysles Brothers Award for Best Documentary Film.

Full Credits


  • Denver Film Festival

    Maysles Brothers Documentary Award

  • Hot Springs Film Festival

    Best Sports Documentary + Hot Springs Audience Award

  • Indie Memphis Film Festival

    Ron Tibbett Excellence in Filmmaking Award + Audience Award for Doc. Feature

  • News & Documentary Emmy Award

    Outstanding Social Issue Documentary & Outstanding Editing: Documentary (Nominee)

Learn more about the documentary

Join the Discussion

Did you ever play for or coach sports at an underfunded or struggling high school? How did you overcome budget shortages and compete? What was the most surprising revelation to you when watching Wrestle?


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