By David Krueger Herald Writer
The people have spoken.
And they like “On the Mat.”
The documentary about the 2010-2011 Lake Stevens wrestling team won the Tribeca (Online) Film Festival Best Feature Film award at a ceremony at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 26.
“It’s been a total surprise,” said director Fredric Golding. “More than met our expectations. Very well received. I think people got it and realized it was more than just a sports film. It’s a character study of kids in America today.”
For a story on the Lake Stevens wrestling documentary that was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, click here.
In its third year, the Tribeca Online Film Festival features many of the movies shown in theaters during the parent festival in New York. The Best Feature Film award is voted for by viewers online during the festival and carries a $10,000 prize.
This year’s winner was “On the Mat,” a film chronicling the Vikings wrestling season, culminating at the state tournament. The documentary was narrated and produced by actor Chris Pratt (Moneyball, “Parks and Recreation”) a Lake Stevens’ wrestling alum.
At the awards ceremony Golding was taken aback when he found out he won. His wife saw and told him, and he couldn’t believe it.
“I turned to my wife and she says, ‘Fred you won.’ I laughed, because it was so unexpected,” Golding said. “It was just a nice end to the little film that could.”
The director said audiences were laughing and cheering along during the film festival. The movie was given two additional screenings on Sunday, the final day of the festival, because it won the award.
“They literally were glued to their seats,” Golding said of the viewers.
Now Golding is looking for a distributor so that “On the Mat” will be seen by even more people. He said he’s had some “positive inquiries,” and thought the movie looked really good on the big screen.
“I think we’re going to have some further sales,” Golding said.