‘The Hammer’ hits local screens

Life of NTID grad and mixed martial artist Matt Hamill premieres on the big screen

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Professional mixed martial artist and RIT/NTID graduate Matt “The Hammer” Hamill is known for being the only deaf professional fighter in the history of the sport, and on Thursday his story will debut on the big screen.

The Hammer makes its premiere Oct. 27 in nearly 100 cities across the country, including at 7 p.m. at The Little Theatre, 240 East Ave., Rochester, and AMC Loews Webster 12, 2190 Empire Blvd., Webster. The 7 p.m. show at The Little is sold out. Hamill will introduce the film in Webster and will take questions from the audience after the screening at The Little.

The biopic film The Hammer is a critically acclaimed account of Hamill’s life. Hamill, who was born deaf, was signed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship after appearing on the third season of the popular reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter, which is documented in the film.

The film, which was mostly shot in Rochester, focuses on his struggles during his early years and follows his journey to NTID where he won three national wrestling titles. It also captures his mixed martial arts career and his rise to fame.

The film will also screen at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at both theaters.

The Little has added additional screenings due to the overwhelming demand for tickets for opening night. The film will be screened at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 through Nov. 2 and 1:40 p.m. Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Tickets are $10 or $8 for members of The Little Theatre. For more information, go to www.thelittle.org.

For more information, including a list of screenings and the official trailer, go to www.thehammerfilm.com.

About Matt Hamill:

Matt “The Hammer” Hamill is a deaf American amateur wrestler and mixed martial artists. He was a three-time NCAA Wrestling Division III National Champion (167 lb. weight class in 1997, 190 lb. weight class in 1998, and 197 lb. weight class in 1999) while attending RIT.

In November 2007, Hamill was inducted into the RIT Athletics Hall of Fame. He also participated in the Deaflympics in 1997 in Denmark where he won both gold medals in Greco-Roman style and freestyle. Hamill earned a silver medal in Greco-Roman style along with a gold medal in freestyle in 2001 in Rome.

Hamill was a contestant on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show in the 205 lb. weight class, which was a launching pad for his career in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Hamill fought in the UFC for six years and amassed a career record of 9-4 in the UFC and 10-4 overall in mixed martial arts, with notable wins over Keith Jardine, Mark Munoz and Tito Ortiz. In August 2011, Hamill announced his retirement from the UFC at the end of this year.