Beyond the Octagon: ‘STYLEBENDER’ Documentary Explores the Complex Life of Israel Adesanya

Prepare for an enthralling journey into the life of MMA superstar Israel Adesanya as the trailer for the much-awaited documentary, “STYLEBENDER,” takes center stage. Directed by the accomplished Zoë McIntosh, renowned for her works like “Dark Tourist” and “The World in Your Window,” this documentary promises an intimate perspective on Adesanya’s life. Set to hit cinemas on September 28, 2023, “STYLEBENDER” boasts of an international premiere that graced the esteemed Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. The film’s captivating narrative was captured over five years, offering unprecedented access into the world of UFC World Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya and his dedicated team.

“STYLEBENDER” isn’t just a documentation of Adesanya’s fights within the octagon; it’s a profound exploration of his journey, his essence, and the complexities that shape him. The documentary delves beyond the veneer of a fighter to reveal the intimate aspects of Israel Adesanya’s life. Born in Nigeria and rooted in New Zealand, Adesanya’s trajectory is far more than a conquest in the ring. This cinematic narrative traverses the realms of masculinity, the aftermath of bullying, the intricate maze of mental health, and the transformative power of dance. “STYLEBENDER” delves deep, providing a poignant and multi-dimensional portrait of this electrifying figure who is nothing short of enigmatic. Aptly nicknamed ‘The Last Stylebender,’ Israel Adesanya’s journey is a testament to his resilience, the scars he carries, and the triumphs that define him.

This cinematic odyssey is a FluroBlack production, a collaborative effort that brings together filmmakers of note. The skilled hands of Fraser Brown (known for “McLaren” and “Dawn Raid”), Leela Menon (acclaimed for “Dawn Raid” and “Mothers of the Revolution”), and Tom Blackwell (noteworthy for “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a #@%!”), are at the helm of “STYLEBENDER.” The film’s realization has been made possible through the support of the New Zealand Film Commission and the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Grant. The film’s completion was further aided by funding from the New Zealand Government’s Screen Production Recovery Fund.

The captivating tale of Israel Adesanya, as unveiled in “STYLEBENDER,” is set to captivate audiences in New Zealand and Australia. Ahi, the distributor of this compelling documentary, ensures that the journey of Adesanya will resonate deeply with audiences, serving as an inspiring testament to the power of determination, the complexity of the human experience, and the capacity for transformation.

As the cinematic stage is set to welcome “STYLEBENDER” into its fold, the anticipation mounts. The life, the struggles, and the triumphs of Israel Adesanya, a fighter whose journey transcends the ring, will illuminate screens, minds, and hearts. This documentary is more than a depiction; it’s an exploration, a revelation, and an invitation to witness the layers of a man who embodies the spirit of a champion both within and beyond the octagon.