Boys with Broken Ears ( Iran Sporting Dreamers)

Director: Nima Shayeghi
Producers: Golriz Kolahi, David Alamouti
Co-producers: Dominique Young, Siamak Shayeghi
Executive Producers: Eraj Shirvani, Fereydoun Ave
Editor: Arttu Salmi
Camera: Roger Eaton
Documentary / 74 mins
Status:  Completed
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This film follows a handful of young Iranian wrestlers through the highs and lows as they compete to represent their country at next World Wrestling Championships and gain all the respect, glory and honor that comes with it.

Client: Al Jazeera / Programme: Witness  / Broadcast date: 21 March 2013

Boys with Broken Ears is an intimate look at the hopes and struggles of a handful of young Iranians.  It is a universal story told through the dream of becoming an Olympic Wrestler.  In Iran wrestling is a very popular sport with historical roots in the country's religion and mythology. It is like football for the Brazilians or boxing for the Cubans, and Iran has consistently produced outstanding world champions that have gone on to win Gold and Silver at the Olympics.

However almost all wrestlers come from the slums and poverty-stricken districts and Wrestling has provided a very slim chance to make something of their lives. As a result two million youngsters try to make it to the national youth team ever year in Iran, but only a handful do.

With unprecedented access to the national youth team, the film follows three main characters who come from very deprived areas of Iran, but whose skills and determination have got them into the team. They are preparing for the biggest events of their careers so far- the world youth championship in Hungary. If they can perform well at the championships they will hopefully be a step closer to achieving their dreams of becoming an adult Olympic champion. 


This project has received seed funding and support from the Iran Heritage Foundation and Magic of Persia.

Al Jazeera English are the official Co-Producers. A version of this film was shown on the Witness strand under the name "Iran's Sporting Dreamers".