The Champion

By Patrick McGowan and Brett Garamella | Documentary
A former Iraqi boxing champion reflects on his journey to pursue the American dream.

Estaifan Shilaita drives a cab in Chicago. But once upon a time, he was a boxing champion in Iraq. Still, despite his success in the ring, his Christian faith prevented him from representing his country on an international stage.

Facing persecution for his religion, Shilaita fled Iraq in 1976 for Greece to pursue his boxing dream. With his family’s blessing, he left behind four brothers, four sisters and his parents. Ultimately, he immigrated to the U.S. in 1979 for “a better life and religious freedom.”

This fascinating documentary traces the turns and twists that he took from Iraq to the U.S., where he arrived to be with the woman he loved. Well-paced and sharply photographed, it’s also the portrait of a likable, engaging man who has created an equally warm and appreciative family around himself, beginning with his wife.

Shot over the course of several years, “The Champion” has an authentic emotional heart, resulting in a warm, genuine film with an eternal message about the primacy and power of family.

“I tell my kids, this is the land of the opportunity to be anything you want,” Shilaita added. “Everyday I’m blessed. I say to my family, ‘God bless America.'”




You Might Also Like:

Feeling Through

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man at a bus stop who changes his life forever.

Brentwood

By Sharon Everitt | Comedy
A Star Trek actor tries to one-up his co-star in his return to Hollywood.

Call Connect

By Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell | Drama
A young helpline operator takes her first call and gets more than she expected.

More Than God

By Kev Cahill | Comedy
A devoted husband suspects his wife is cheating on him. Then he hides under the bed.

The Things You Think I’m Thinking

By Sherren Lee | Drama
A burn-survivor goes on his first date after his accident.

Discipline

By Christophe M. Saber | Comedy
A father slaps a disobedient child. Then a bystander threatens to report him for abuse.

The Landing

By Josh Tanner | Sci-Fi
A man uncovers the horrifying truth of what landed on his childhood farm.

Sometimes, I Think About Dying (Sundance)

By Stefanie Abel Horowitz | Drama
A woman thinks about dying. But a co-worker asks her out.

The Goodnight Show

By Charlie Schwan | Sci-Fi
A virgin tries to get laid before an unstoppable asteroid ends the world.

Naysayer ft. Steven Yeun

By David M. Helman | Drama
A young father who is cut off from his son takes matters into his own hands.

Retouch

By Kaveh Mazaheri | Drama
An Iranian woman's husband has an accident at home... and she just watches him die.

Joseph’s Reel

By Michael Lavers | Romance
An elderly man is given the opportunity to relive one day of his life.

Lost and Found (The Oscars)

By Andrew Goldsmith and Bradley Slabe | Animation
A crochet dinosaur must unravel itself to save the love of its life.

Reception

By Joe Gillette | Romance
2 strangers at a wedding reception make an unexpected connection.

Exit Strategy

By Travis Bible | Sci-Fi
A man in a time-loop must work with his brother to prevent a catastrophic fire.



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.