The documentary short that explores the nuances between the literary and wrestling communities in Iowa City was awarded an Upper Midwest Regional Emmy in the Documentary – Cultural category at a ceremony Saturday, October 6 in Minneapolis. Think Iowa City, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, produced the project. The 23-minute film, titled Cultivation: Writing and Wrestling in Iowa City, can be viewed at

“We wanted to document the unique position Iowa City was in, hosting two international events in the same week, and to let the story tell itself,” said Josh Schamberger, President of Think Iowa City. “The film exceeded our expectations. It is something all Iowa City area residents, visitors, wrestling fans and literary lovers can enjoy and be proud of.”

From April 3 through April 8, 2018, Iowa City hosted the world when over 25 countries descended upon the city for both the UNESCO Cities of Literature Annual Meeting and the United World Wrestling Freestyle World Cup. Think Iowa City produced a documentary short to explore the week and how Iowa City became an international hub for two very different activities.

The documentary features interviews from international participants from both UNESCO and UWW providing their perspectives as to why Iowa City is a special place for their passion. The film also provides insights from the local writing and wrestling communities about how Iowa City came to be acclaimed for both writing and wrestling, while also exploring their similarities.

The film features interviews with Marvin Bell, Dan Gable, Christopher Merrill, J’Den Cox, Ed Folsom, Tom Brands and Jan Weissmiller, among others.

The documentary was directed and edited by University of Iowa alumni Nathan McNurlen, and filmed by Chad Adams and James Drescher with Trilix in Des Moines. Bruce Wheaton, Nick Pfeiffer, and Schamberger aided in the production.

Pictured: Nick Pfeiffer, Producer, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Think Iowa City; James Drescher, Cinematographer, Trilix; Nathan McNurlen, Director and Editor, Trilix; Brett Adams, Executive Producer, Trilix