“People thought I had wrestled my whole life.”, Another bonus: “The Iranian population is passionate and loves the film,” he said. He also proposed to her there. The pair will also answer questions and sign autographs. Some scenes were also shot in Santa Rosa mainly in the Sonoma County area. George Kosturos as Ali Jahani and Ali Afshar as Hafez Tabad in “American Wrestler: The Wizard.” (Courtesy photo/ESX Entertainment). Please enable JavaScript and reload this page. The film premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival on April 23, 2016 and had a limited theatrical run starting May 3, 2017. Most of us do, and that is why movies with that type of plot are so popular. Sporting a turban, Farouk took great pains in trying to control his madman protégé. Of Mr. Trump’s proposed travel ban, Mr. Afshar says that while there are certainly dangerous people who need to be kept out of America, a blanket ban is not the answer. “A lot of times I feel that way.”. Quiz: Can you name the actors who played these 1980s TV characters? The film takes place in the late 70’s and Ali faces a great deal of bullying and discrimination in his new school and community. When his uncle hears Ali made the team, he tells him that he was a wrestler and begins to train Ali. “My prayers go out to the family.”. Jahani, determined to fit in and start a new life, joins his school’s basketball and football teams, with no success. Judge people for who they are not the color of their skin or religious beliefs,” he said. Roth was revealed to be homosexual after his death, although some claim they were aware of his sexual orientation during his lifetime. [1] Farouk was a pioneer of "manager interference", as he physically would attempt to alter a match's outcome in the Sheik's favor. “This is one of those movies, more than any film I’ve ever worked on, I have no doubt what [audience reaction] will be after they see it,” he said. Ali’s uncle also found acceptance as the associate coach and mentor to not only Ali but all the boys on the team. He later lead Mr Fuji and Prof. Toru Tanaka to two reigns with the WWWF World Tag Team Championship. He met his fiancée in Napa. The position was eventually taken over by Davis himself after Roth's death. His uncle, with whom he lives, feels the young man has brought bad luck with him from Iran. In the film 17-year-old Ali Jahani, escapes certain death in the mine fields of Iran by relocating to a small town in California and living with his Uncle. “American Wrestler” was shot in Petaluma, in many cases in the exact same places where the early-‘80s events depicted in the film occurred. This inspirational film drives home the message, that you can’t give up when things get tough. On October 12, 1983, Roth died of a heart attack. I hope they are inspired to keep going and not give up.”, The Vallejo screening is a tribute to twin sisters Trinh and Tram Tran, 14, who died Aug. 5 in a house fire. When his uncle hears Ali made the team, he tells him that he was a wrestler and begins to train Ali. The sequel titled “American Wrestler: The Fighter” was announced by producers Forrest Lucas and Ali Afshar. [3][1] The Wizard guided a second protégé, Superstar Billy Graham, to the very same championship on April 30, 1977, when Graham overcame Sammartino in Baltimore. In the film 17-year-old Ali Jahani, escapes certain death in the mine fields of Iran by relocating to a small town in California and living with his uncle. “It’s a wonderful story and a story that needs to be told now in this [political] climate.”. Kosturos plays Ali Jahani in an upcoming fictional movie, “American Fighter.” Filming is complete. You can buy this movie now and learn more on the film’s website. 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Click to Read More The picture also transformed him as a person. “Ali never gave up against all the odds,” Kosturos said. ‘America’s Forgotten’: Democrat director discovers horrors of illegal immigration while making film. Everyone is fighting a battle of their own. If you delve into the life of any successful person, you will find out just how hard they had to work, and all the challenges they had to rise above to reach their goals. This weekend we sat down to watch American Wrestler: The Wizard, a movie based on the life of Ali Afshar. This movie had us on the edge of our seat at the end rooting for Ali in one of his biggest challenges. JavaScript is required for full functionality on this website, but scripting is currently disabled. Mr. Afshar said there remains in his adopted land a current of prejudice against Middle Easterners that he experienced as a young immigrant, and which has been somewhat reignited due some of the Trump administration’s rhetoric and proposed travel bans. If a person doesn’t have that type of attitude, it is easy to give up, so it is important to know, failing is not a bad thing. Campaign 2020 podcast with George Gerbo, Thin blue line lining up behind Trump: ‘This is make-or-break for law enforcement’. Then-young Ali sought to fit in with a new culture, surrounded by people who knew little, if anything, about Iran or its history. Ali Afshar and his family escaped the Iranian Revolution, emigrating to Northern California while they were still able. I always laugh when anyone tells me someone is an “overnight success”, because nothing could be further from the truth. Get updates delivered right to your inbox! The story of someone who faces extreme adversity and achieves great success is very empowering and uplifting. Making the team ends up being his saving grace in more ways than one. Ali’s uncle was going to send him back to Iran until he saw that Ali made the wrestling team. Christopherson used a blend of traditional orchestra and synths and worked with Iranian musicians. A failure is not an indication that we should give up our dream, it is just a detour, a time to regroup and rethink our strategy. Walking around town he goes up to the school and watches a wrestling match. here for reprint permission. All of that is shattered by following a tragic piece of advice his uncle offered. The post Cheers For “American Wrestler: The Wizard”, A True Underdog to Champion Film appeared first on Mommy Ramblings. “American Wrestler: The Wizard” Early Reviews are Very Good #proudpersian #americanwrestler #wrestling #iranianwrestler #diaspora #iranian Walking around town he goes up to the school and watches a wrestling match. She’ll tell you she was only 3 at the time. The only way to truly fail is to give up an quit. Most of us do, and that is why movies with that type of plot are so popular. [2], Roth began a stint with the World Wide Wrestling Federation (WWWF) in the 1970s, where he became known as The Grand Wizard. Irwin "Ernie" Roth (August 30, 1926 – October 12, 1983), known by the ring names The Grand Wizard of Wrestling and Abdullah Farouk, was an American professional wrestling manager.Not a wrestler himself due to his small stature, he was noted for his flamboyant outfit of sequined jackets, wraparound sunglasses, and a brightly colored turban decorated with jewels and feathers. Let me know if you have seen this movie or if you have plans to. I would love to hear what you thought about it. When all seemed to be lost, he found a way to rise above a desperate situation and once again regain his place as a star of the wrestling team. !. Ali’s world is turned upside down, but he has to stay strong and find a way to not only succeed but to triumph above everything. and View Comments, Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Manage Newsletters. The film takes place in the late 70’s and Ali faces a great deal of bullying and discrimination in his new school and community. George Kosturos returns to star with Tommy Flanagan, Bryan Craig, Sean Patrick Flanery and Parviz Sayyad joining as new cast members. Slaughter, "Big Cat" Ernie Ladd, Ox Baker, and Cowboy Bob Orton. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Wanting to fit in, Ali joins the school's wrestling team and becomes the squad's star member. Ali is thrilled that he gets to stay in the United States and begins to build a bond with his uncle through training. Principal photography began in North Carolina in June 2017. “You just have to keep fighting. Not a wrestler himself due to his small stature, he was noted for his flamboyant outfit of sequined jackets, wraparound sunglasses, and a brightly colored turban decorated with jewels and feathers. Since he was too small for football and too short for basketball, Ali tries out for the wrestling team and makes it. What a great line up of actors! Jahani deals with racial discrimination and bullying. “He didn’t turn his back on him.”. The first way it helps Ali, is that it creates common ground between him and his uncle. The film centers around the world of competitive high school wrestling and stars George Kosturos as Ali Jahani, a 17–year old who escapes Iran in the 1980s after the Iran hostage crisis and must adjust to life in a small California town only to face more hostility in America due to the hostage crisis. American Wrestler: The Wizard is a 2016 American sports biographical film directed by Alex Ranarivelo. Roth on many occasions (when out of character and greasepaint mustache) co-hosted the syndicated Big Time Wrestling show with fellow announcer Bob Finnegan until 1969 when the hosting duties went to Lord Athol Layton. I would love to hear what you thought about it. The actor who plays Ali’s uncle is none other than, Ali Afshar himself. Ali is thrilled that he gets to stay in the United States and begins to build a bond with his uncle through training. However, he said he was so taken in by “American Wrestler” — never mind its short shooting schedule and promise of a slim payday — that he immediately said yes. The successful person they see did not arrive at that level overnight. He auditioned in 2015 for the film and dropped 15 pounds in two weeks to continue getting call backs. He said hopes the film will be released by the end of the year. Making the team ends up being his saving grace in more ways than one. How many of us like to root for the underdog? “It’s really touched hearts.”. If a person doesn’t have that type of attitude, it is easy to give up, so it is important to know, failing is not a bad thing. Pros and Cons of Choosing Either. “Obviously we made it a more entertaining story, so we took some Hollywood liberties. Mr. Afshar said his investors were supportive of the film because it “shows an Iranian boy as the hero, not an Iranian bad guy, not a comic relief Middle Eastern guy, [but] like ‘Rocky’ or ‘The Karate Kid.’”. VALLEJO — This area holds a special place for actor George Kosturos. American Wrestler:The Wizard is an inspirational film based on the true life of an underdog who immigrated to the US to escape certain death in his own country. All of that is shattered by following a tragic piece of advice his uncle offered. We often learn, that are failures are just a catalyst that help us find a better way. The film centers around the world of competitive high school wrestling and stars George Kosturos as Ali Jahani, a 17–year old who escapes Iran in the 1980s after the Iran hostage crisisand must adjust to life in a small California town only to face more hostility in America due to the hostage crisis. Kosturos also learned the benefit of persistence. The film also stars Oscar-winner Jon Voigt, and even features Mr. Afshar in a small role as his own uncle.