Winning Girl

Teshya Alo is 16 years old and 125 pounds. But on the judo and wrestling mats, she throws women twice her age and pounds heavier. And she beats boys. Now, she has her sights set on taking gold at both the judo and wrestling world championships–and eventually the Olympics. But it won’t be easy.

She is younger and less experienced than her opponents. She trains from Hawaii and the cost to travel to mainland and international tournaments drains her family’s resources. She’s a student at a private school for Native Hawaiians. And she’s going through puberty.

‘Winning Girl’ follows the four-year journey of this teenaged judo and wrestling phenomenon and her family, and in doing so tells the dynamic story of an elite athlete on her ascent, a girl facing the challenges of growing up and an entire family dedicated to a single dream.


  • Year: 2014
  • Duration: 68 & 56 mins
  • Production: Making Waves Films
  • Director: Kimberlee Bassford
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: USA



  • Nominated, Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature - Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2015; Winner, Special Jury Award for Documentary Feature - Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, 2015 Hawaii International Film Festival, Ko Olina Children’s Film & Music Festival (Kapolei, Hawaii), Women’s Film Festival (Brattleboro, Vermont), Nevada Women’s Film Festival (Las Vegas, Nevada), CAAMFest (San Francisco, California), Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (Los Angeles, California) Wonders of Women Film Festival (Honolulu, Hawaii) Canadian Sport Film Festival (Toronto, Canada), DocEdge Festival (Wellington & Auckland, Australia).

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