Ring of DreamsWillem Baptist

‘You have to learn how to make the audience hate you," says wrestler Tengkwa before taking a skinny teenage boy in a painful head lock. The victim is participating in a training camp and dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. This often hilarious and visually tight documentary asks how far they want to go to achieve their dream.

We have seen them on television; the over-the-top competitions of show wrestlers in bizarre outfits and spectacular attacks in the boxing ring. Some wrestlers are real stars, larger-than-life characters inside and outside the ring. It seems like a crazy dream for an average Dutch boy. And yet professional wrestler Tengkwa is fully engaged in training a new generation of Dutch show wrestling heroes. Are they really aiming for success and fame? Or is it just a creative way of escaping a predictable life? Director Willem Baptist (Instant Dreams) explores this world where fantasy and reality meet and discovers that there is a special beauty in this sometimes hilarious, but also extremely hard and painful world. The boys seem to be exceptional in our pragmatic society. Instead of casting "childish dreams" aside as absurd, they literally sacrifice blood, sweat and tears for them.

This film is part of...

International selection

International competition for best documentary. The winning film is awarded the Canvas Jury Award and will be longlisted for the Academy Awards.

Dutch spoken or subtitled Mildly comical

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Directed by Willem Baptist
The Netherlands
2019 70 min.
Subtitles: English


International selection


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