"The Hardest Six" runs at just around 32 minutes long, but anyone familiar with Perry Hall High School will recognize several of its biggest scenes.
In the film, a teenage boy, accustomed to big city life, moves in with his grandparents in a small town. There, he finds refuge and motivation in his high school's wrestling team. Portions of the film, including his wrestling training and matches, take place at Perry Hall High School, cast as Patrick Henry High School. The school mascot, the Gator, remains the same.
The film premiered in Baltimore in late January, and is awaiting entry into several film festivals. Copies of the DVD are now available online.
In June 2012, Martin Whittier, director and owner of Brumar Films, got community members involved as extras during the film's most climatic match.
"To have 150 locals come out for the big scene—that was huge." Whittier said. "I think we kept a lot of the school in there, we kept the same colors and everything. Someone from Perry Hall will enjoy it even more."
Whittier, a Belcamp resident, first dreamed up the idea for a wrestling film as a student wrestler at Perryville High School.
"I think for young kids, this is a very fair representation of the sport. It's not Hollywood—there's the good and the bad. Hopefully it will inspire people to look into it," he said.
Whittier enlisted several professional actors around the Baltimore area to participate in the film. Dan Poole, a Perry Hall resident and director of the independent superhero thriller The Photon Effect, also acted as the assistant director.
"Production-wise, we follow the same page. I told Martin that I love assistant directing. You get to be the bad guy, but you don't have all of the responsibility," Poole said with a laugh.
"I had a great time with Martin. I think he's one of the smartest and kindest filmmakers around," he said.
His wife, Leslie Poole added that she was thrilled to see so much of the school featured, where her daughter currently attends.
Attendees at the Baltimore premiere gave the film positive reviews.
"The acting was fantastic, and it was great play for Perry Hall, especially after the rough year they've been having," said Rita Bianchi.
"Even at just about 30 minutes long, I enjoyed how he was able to achieve his dream," said Lisa Waters.