First Match

  • Winner, 2011 Cine Golden Eagle
  • Semi-Finalist, 2011 Angelus Awards, Best Live-Action
  • Winner, 2011 SimonSays Entertainment Award: Innovative Filmmaking About Underrepresented Communities
  • Winner, IFC Audience Choice Award (Columbia University Film Festival, Program E)
  • Winner, BEST EDITING, Student Choice Award, Columbia University Film Festival
  • Winner, 2011 Caucus Foundation Post-Production Award
  • Winner, 2010 HBO Young Producers Development Award
Past Screenings:
  • Aspen Shortsfest, Bend Film Festival, DC Shorts Festival, NY Film
  • Festival, San Francisco International Festival of Short Films
First Match

Fourteen year-old Monique “Mo” Morris is the only girl on what used to be an all-boys wrestling team. As she prepares for her first co-ed high school match, we learn that her desire to dominate the male opponent she will face on the mat is about more than proving to her skeptical teammates that she has earned her starting position. She is also wrestling to connect with her father, a former wrestler himself, who is struggling to raise her alone.

FILMMAKER: Olivia Newman

Brooklyn, NY
Olivia Newman

Olivia Newman has written, directed and produced award-winning short films in the USA, France and Serbia. Olivia's films have received awards from HBO, The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, SimonSays Entertainment, Cine Golden Eagle, and the Angelus Awards, and have screened in film festivals internationally including the New York Film Festival, Aspen Shortsfest, Palm Springs International Shortsfest, Cinequest, Vancouver International Film Festival and the Bermuda Film Festival. Her short, FIRST MATCH, won Best Student Short at the 2012 Aspen Shortsfest, Best Short Film at the 2012 NJ International Film Festival and is currently airing on PBS. Olivia is a 2012 Film Society of Lincoln Center/IFP Emerging Visions Fellow for the development of her first feature based on her short, First Match. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University.