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 (UWW) Freestyle World Cup. Think Iowa City, the convention & visitors bureau, produced a documentary short to explore the week and how Iowa City became an international hub for two very different activities.

The documentary, titled Cultivation: Writing and Wrestling in Iowa City, 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.

“Anyone who loves Iowa City, loves the state of Iowa, enjoys reading and writing, enjoys wrestling and the Iowa Hawkeyes, are going to appreciate this documentary,” said Josh Schamberger, President of Think Iowa City. “You will be proud of this unique community.”

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

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

The 23-minute documentary can be viewed at