Jungle Fight and Wallid
In Brazil there is an extraordinary show called 'Jungle Fight'. Created by legendary ex-fighter Wallid Ismail, 'Jungle Fight' is the Brazilian face of Mixed Martial Arts, the most popular contact sport in the world. This feature length documentary, ‘Enter The Jungle’ takes us on a journey into the heart of Wallid's sporting kingdom. We find out why so many star MMA fighters come from the cities, ‘favelas’ and rainforests of Brazil.
Brazilians developed their own combat sport when they transformed Japanese 'Kodokan Judo' into a new Martial Art. 'Brazilian jiu-jitsu' promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can defend against a bigger, stronger assailant, using leverage and proper technique, taking the fight to the ground - applying join locks and chokeholds to defeat the opponent. The Gracie family, pioneers of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, dominated its early years.
THE GRACIE KILLER
Wallid Ismail trained under Carlson Gracie and defeated four Gracie fighters, including Royce Gracie, beating him with a clock choke. It was Wallid who brought MMA back to Brazil after an eight-year absence. He is now Brazil's foremost representative of MMA. Through ‘Jungle Fight’ he discovered and promoted a constant stream of new fighters. Thanks to Wallid, many Brazilians have gone on to dominate the UFC and become global stars.
We look at how 'Jungle Fight' came into being, starting out in Manaus, Amazonas, heart of the Amazon rain forest, lead by the figure of Wallid Ismail.
We film fifteen intense MMA fights in Brazil at 'Jungle Fight', contests that represent the best in MMA.
We discover the raw, new, Brazilian fighters, just starting out on their careers, some of whom will be the MMA champions of tomorrow.
Producer and director, Tommy is a graduate of UCLA School of Cinema/Television. He produced and directed many music videos and worked artists such as Ben Harper, Reba McEntire, Young MC, Kurtis Blow, The Luniz, Eazy E. Tommy filmed the “illegal” second MMA championship – staged in the Mohawk Indian Reservation outside of Montreal – where participants were arrested. Tommy also filmed the early years of the UFC, creating a unique MMA archive. Tommy's first documentary feature 'Slippin’, Ten Years with The Bloods', premiered at Tribecca film festival in 2005, was shown on Showtime Network and won awards internationally. Other films include 'The History of Rap'.
Alex Harvey is a UK film and TV director and producer, based in LA. He filmed many episodes of the TV show '1000 Ways To Die'. Previous credits include cinema shorts 'The Fiancee' and 'Vacuum' and the EMMY nominated BBC film 'The Lives of Animals'. His first film for Channel Four 'A Bill Called William', was nominated for a John Grierson Award. He has produced and directed several documentary series, including 'Slave Nation' for Channel Four and 'Old New World' for the BBC. With fellow director Reg Traviss, Alex set up and co-produced Kingsway Films' movie 'Joy Division', distributed worldwide by Handmade Films.
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