Commonwealth champion turns film director

A Commonwealth Champion who has turned his hand to film directing is now offering judo fans the chance to download his short film called The Final Day.

James Warren is the current -66kg Commonwealth Champion from Manchester 2002, the Englishman beat Scotsman David Somerville in the final winning a gold medal for England. He describes this as an amazing experience and is about to give up his title at the forthcoming Glasgow Games.

After competing at two other Commonwealth tournaments, Warren has now hung up his competitive judogi and decided to focus his attention on film making,  writing producing and acting in his first piece of original work The Final Day. “I want people to know about the film as the BJA helped me tremendously during this process, allowing me to give the film real scale” he said. “There are also some great judoka involved in the making of this film including a judo legend and I appreciate everyones participation in helping make this film happen”.

“Since retiring from Judo I became an actor and had this idea about how we all react and judge each other, sometimes without realising it.”The film shows how extreme some people live their lives. Many people do not realise how extreme an athletes life is, you need to focus 100 per cent to reap the rewards.

“Everyone prepares in their own way. Some people are chatty and sociable, others just get into their own zone and seclude themselves. “I started judo when I was seven years old to combat shyness and I transformed into a confident young lad. I’m still involved in the judo scene and occasionally coach at Camberley. I still care deeply about the sport but I am concentrating on film making for the moment.”

“Winning the Commonwealth title twice was amazing and with the Games coming home to the UK it is extra special. My family came to see me win the Commonwealth Championships in Edinburgh in 1998 as well as in 2002 when the Games came to Manchester.”

He was part of the 1994 to 2004 era – a generation that included the late Ryan Birch, Ray Stevens, Kerrith Brown, Craig Fallon, David Somerville, John Buchanan, Graeme Randall and Winston Gordon.

Warren was also reserve for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The Final Day has been submitted into the London and Venice film festivals, and a link to the download of The Final Day will be available very soon. “I hope people will download and enjoy the film it was a great project to work on and hopefully will help finance my new project Welcome To The machine.

Words by Donna Richardson.