Former NIU wrestler making film

By DaShanda Mosley

Former NIU wrestler James Oliva intends to pin down the truth about collegiate wrestling in his independent feature-film “7 Minutes.”

The film, with its cast of former NCAA wrestlers, begins filming in DeKalb this week with a to-be-completed date slated sometime in the fall.

Locations on campus will serve as the settings for several scenes, including the movie’s climax, which will be shot in the Convocation Center. Oliva anticipates spending around three weeks filming in the DeKalb area.

“Seventy-five percent of the movie will be shot in DeKalb because that is where I wrote it, and because it will be easiest to get things finished there,” Oliva said.

The remainder of the film will be shot in New Lennox and Ottawa, or Wisconsin.

The movie takes its title from the length of a collegiate wrestling match.

“People don’t understand wrestling, let alone amateur wrestling,” Oliva said. “It has never been done accurately in a movie before. I’ve been there; this is the chance to tell the world the truth.”

The film is fictional, but Oliva said it’s made up of a thousand true stories.

“7 Minutes” chronicles the story of a college team at a university that is contemplating cutting the program to meet Title IX requirements.

Oliva wrestled at NIU under coach Dave Grant and finished with a 25-8 lifetime record.