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Filmmakers seek additional crowdfunding for documentary on BU wrestling's final season

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 14, 2014 04:01 PM

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("It Hurts to Win" filmmakers / Vimeo)

A new trailer for the film released this week.

A group of filmmakers hopes to raise $30,000 through online crowdfunding to finish a feature-length documentary about what is scheduled to be the final season for the Boston University men’s wrestling, a 45-year-old program fighting for survival.

Filming for “It Hurts to Win” began at the start of the wrestling season this past fall.

Using a few outside donations and about $8,500 in money raised online before they embarked, the filmmakers have – with head coach Carl Adams’ blessing – followed the Division 1 team as they trained at BU, competed in home and away matches and as the team and its supporters have pushed to save the program.

But, the group, which released a new trailer for the film this week, said on their online fundraising page that they need more funding to finish production work “in order to make sure this story is told exactly the way we want it to be, and the way that it deserves to be.”

“This is an emotional story of loss, brotherhood, and perseverance in the face of adversity,” the group wrote on their crowdfunding page on

The university announced on April Fool’s Day last year that wrestling will end at the conclusion of the current 2013-14 season. The announcement stunned coaches, athletes, incoming recruits, alumni and fans of the program. Supporters have rallied around the team this season and continue to urge the university to keep the program.

“Our goal is that the audience will leave this film with a better understanding of who is affected when a collegiate athletics program is cut, and the emotional toll it takes on all of the individuals involved,” the filmmakers said on their fundraising page. “Especially with a sport like wrestling, the loss of a program is much more than a small brief in the sports section; it’s the loss of a passion.”

The documentary is being directed by Brandon Lavoie, a film student at Emerson College, and Michael Abelson, a recent University of Rhode Island graduate and lifelong wrestling fan who has reported on local sports.

Brady Darragh, a post production major at Emerson, will help edit the film, and Fernando Martinez, a New York-based composer, will add music and sounds to go along with the footage.

The group said they have no affiliation to BU, its athletics department or the wrestling program.

“The money we raise for this will strictly go towards finishing the project,” they said. “We are simply trying to tell this story as well as we possibly can for the team, for the coaches, and ultimately, for everyone who wants to listen.”

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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