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 Hawai‘i 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 part-Polynesian female teenage judo and wrestling phenomenon from Hawai‘i 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.

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WINNING GIRL is a co-production of Making Waves Films LLC and Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

The film has also received the generous support of the Harold K. L. Castle Foundation, Atherton Family FoundationWomen’s Fund of Hawaii, Dolores Furtado Martin Foundation and Open Meadows Foundation.


The first two minutes of the film can be viewed on YouTube at:


The film had its world premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival on Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014 at Dole Theatres in Honolulu.

Its national television broadcast premiere was Tuesday, May 12, 2015 on The World Channel’s signature documentary series America ReFramed. Its Hawai‘i television broadcast premiere was Sunday, September 20, 2015 on OC16.

The film is also available for purchase from Women Make Movies.

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