By Charles Newland
U.K., 2018


Original version

WRESTLING WITH MY ROOTS is an observational documentary about tradition, rising above expectation, and pursuing your passion without losing your identity. Chris Royles is a Romani Gypsy and professional wrestler from rural Herefordshire in England. He hails from a traditional family of fighting men, but has chosen a slightly different path towards combat sports. Following Chris’s journey from soft-spoken everyman to Romani wrestling hero at one of his local shows, this film celebrates his close family ties, his independent wrestling company, and the individuality he shows while maintaining proud Romani roots.


Charles Newland is a Romani Gypsy film director based in Nottingham, U.K. He is the founder of film collective Notown Productions and an original member of the International Romani Film Commission. His work has been featured by VICE, BFI, and The Guardian, and his films have been screened at a variety of international film festivals, including Berlin Director’s Lounge and Borderlines Film Festival. Charles began his career working in avant-garde and experimental film. Recently, he has been making documentaries for the Rural Media Company / Travellers’ Times Magazine.


Director: Charles Newland
Cinematography: Bernard Close
Sound: Christina Newland
Editing: Grace Hart
Production: Grant Black/Rural Media Company


World Premiere with Q&A with the director