If you are looking for a good documentary to watch this holiday season, consider “A Shot in the Dark,” the story of Anthony Ferraro’s journey as a blind wrestler. Ferraro is a 24 year old who was on his way to the 2020 Paralympics when it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Today he is instead traveling the country with his fiancé and performing as a street musician.
A Shot in the Dark follow Ferraro through his senior year in high school and portrays the story of his wrestling journey. The movie project began when his brother Oliver, who loved filmmaking, started a film featuring Anthony–about being a blind teenager, his adversity in life, and obstacles in being a blind wrestler. An independent filmmaker, Chris Suchorsky, reached out to Oliver, and they decided to make it into a feature-length documentary.
Someone from the United States Olympics Committee saw the story and reached out to Anthony. “I laughed and told them they had the wrong number!” he said about the call that changed his life. The call came at the perfect time – not only was he still mourning his brother’s death, but his mother had just recovered from a traumatic brain injury. He knew he needed to start doing something to keep himself going so that he didn’t dwell on all the unfortunate events in his life. Although wrestling isn’t part of the Paralympics anymore, Judo is a form of mixed martial arts and is the closest thing to wrestling. They offered to train him so he could compete on behalf of Team USA. He happily accepted, and after his training, he started touring the world competing in qualifying matches – and winning. All the travel was self-funded, but thanks to the support of his former coaches, friends, and family, he was able to make it to number one in the country. He even made it to the top 20 in the world before the COVID-19 pandemic stuck.
To support himself and his Olympic dream, Anthony does motivational speaking at various organizations and schools. He helps with different types of seminars and wrestling clinics, and even plays guitar at various bars and restaurants around New Jersey. “I have a lot of side hustles to help fund my Olympic journey while I wait for bigger sponsors. Even if I don’t get them, it doesn’t matter, because I love everything I do.” Although the temporary hiatus is disappointing, he is embracing the extra time to train and stay strong.
(Adapted from FFB blog: https://www.fightingblindness.org/resources/the-only-disability-is-a-bad-attitude-137)
To visit Ferraro’s website and to watch the documentary, visithttps://vimeo.com/ondemand/ashotinthedark?fbclid=IwAR0fbrmJlAxOIqLmA9W__v_cqAJGR_pOKVt5WcXn92jph0De-5QxY28EnDI