EXCLUSIVE: Mimi Steinbauer and her team will introduce buyers in Cannes to the coming-of-age film starring William Fichtner, Jon Voight, Gabriel Basso, Lia Marie Johnson and newcomer George Kosturos.

Alex Ranarivelo directed American Wrestler: The Wizard, which will screen in the Cannes market on May 17 and recently premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

Brian Rudnick wrote the screenplay inspired by true events of high school wrestling champion Ali Afshar, who is featured in the film and is a producer alongside Hadeel Reda.

Forrest Lucas and Protect The Harvest serve as executive producers and Ashley Michaelsen is a co-producer.

Kosturos stars as Afshar, an outcast teenage immigrant sent to live with his uncle in the small Northern California town of Petaluma where he joins the floundering high school wrestling team.

He teams up with the inspiring coach and leads the team to success.

“It’s amazing what young kids can do when they put their minds to it,” said Steinbauer. “This film reminds us that it is possible to overcome adversity and can change a community when faced with challenging odds.

“We are celebrating Ali’s triumph of spirit and others like him from every walk of life, and hopefully inspiring others to do the same.” 

The film was shot in Afshar’s hometown of Petaluma, California and features the-real life locations from his childhood.  

Radiant Films International’s Cannes slate includes London Town starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Dougray Scott and Natasha McElhone making its market premiere; and action thriller Juveniles starring Beau Knapp and Stephen Moyer, which also premieres in the market.