“Some were born to be lucky, some were born to be fighters.”

Five-time boxing champion, Artjom has had to fight for everything in his life. He fled the war in Chechnya and lived as a refugee in the Netherlands. When his family was granted asylum, he faced even greater difficulties integrating into a new culture and society.

Artjom fought the temptations of taking a ready-made pathway to a life of crime and felonies. Instead, he dug deeply into his beliefs and relationships which has allowed him to steer clear of this enticing path. He eventually found an outlet to channel his restless energy in a boxing gym which led him to win five national titles in five consecutive years.

Despite his staggering success as an amateur boxer, a newborn and family responsibilities compelled him to take on a new challenge of becoming a professional boxer. This is a portrait of a young man who has seen more adversity than many see in a lifetime. However, he keeps fighting, because he has something worth fighting for.

Director’s Vision for ‘Artjom’

Shot over the course of almost 18 months and taking another 6 months to complete the film in post, this project was a true labor of love.

Artjom’s story was so heartbreaking, yet hopeful and triumphant. His resilience and grit had to be captured on film. Rolling on 16mm to shoot a profile/documentary initially seemed a bit daunting, but that choice proved to be decisive.

I hope that Artjom’s raw emotions, struggles, victories, heartbreak and joy are all viscerally experienced by the audience.