Can’t wait until October for the annual North American Wife Carrying Championship in Newry? How about a movie to get you through?
An independent film about the sport opens across North America on Monday, according to director and wife-carrying enthusiast Evan James Bochetto. It can be viewed on Amazon Prime.
The film was shot at more than 40 locations in Newry, “from the real-life racetrack of the wife-carrying championships with 10,000 screaming fans,” according to a news release.
“The great thing about wife-carrying is that it’s for everybody,” said Caroline Ochtera of Sunday River Resort in Newry, who appears in the film. “You know, I always thought of it like this — the woman is the jockey and the man is the horse. If you want to win, you best bring a great stallion.”
“It’s a competitive sport as couples train all year for this highly comical event,” Bochetto said. “For us to be invited into the winner’s circle and to place our actors on the real-life champions’ seesaw was a tremendous honor. We were even fortunate enough to have previous winners, like Elliot and Giana Storey, in the film giving our production advice on how champions should run the course.”
The sport of wife-carrying started in Finland as women challenged men to demonstrate their strength by carrying them away from their protective fathers. Over the years, this courtship ritual transitioned into a sport that welcomes competitors of all backgrounds.
Filmmakers Bochetto & Pastewka decided early on to cast Finnish actors in the lead roles to stay true to the origins of the sport. The World Championship is held in Finland every July, while the North American Championship is held at Sunday River every October.
The film can be viewed on Amazon Prime and other sources. To watch a trailer, visit the “Couples of Wife-Carrying” YouTube page.
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