â€śWing Hunt is about finding Americaâ€™s lost soul, what makes America tickâ€¦ The director is a master of the quiet moment.â€ť
Dave Nicholson, RelaTV
Invented in 1964, the once lowly Buffalo wing has become one of the world’s most popular snack foods. But who makes the best one?
Joined by his long-suffering Czech girlfriend, a perplexed Slovak film crew, and a ragtag gang of wing-obsessed misfits recruited online, Reynolds embarks on THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT. After 2,627 miles and 284 varieties of wings, the quest ends in the very countryside of Reynoldsâ€™ childhood, where he discovers that the perfection he has sought so hard to find was right under his nose all along.
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American expatriate, international journalist and upstate New Yorker Matt Reynolds forsakes a successful life in Eastern Europe, compelled by a singular obsession: find the worldâ€™s best Buffalo chicken wing. Joined by his long-suffering Czech girlfriend, a perplexed Slovak film crew, and a ragtag gang of wing-obsessed misfits recruited online, Reynolds embarks on THE GREAT CHICKEN WING HUNT. After 2,627 miles and 284 varieties of wings, the quest ends in the very countryside of Reynoldsâ€™ childhood, where he discovers that the perfection he has sought so hard to find was right under his nose all along.
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MATT REYNOLDS, Hunt Leader
Reynolds grew up in Lyons, a small town in New York State, and after moving to ex-communist Europe in 1998 made it his mission to introduce Buffalo wings to the Slavs of central Europe. He and his Slavic friends dreamed up the hunt at a bar in Bratislava, Slovakia. As a journalist and native upstate New Yorker, he believes he is uniquely qualified to lead the search for the world’s best wing.
RON WIESZCZYK, Second-in-Command
A native of Niagara Falls, Ron witnessed the rise of the wing in Western New York firsthand in the 1970s. Ron is a pepper-grower, hot-sauce maker and amateur musician. He made an album of pop music on a Commodore 64 in the 1984. The album’s single, ‘Beaver Island’, was a hit in Japan and became the hunt’s unofficial anthem.
“MIGHTY THOR” BEAVERS, Official Judge
A 340-pound woodwright from Rochester, New York, Thor holds regional titles in pizza, wing, and ice cream eating. He placed fifth at the 2007 National Buffalo Wing Festival, wolfing down 87 wings in 12 minutes.
RIC KEALOHA Culinary Authority
Ric, a former chef from Hawaii, gave up a career in food to study medicine in Prague, Czech Republic. He’s been a wing buff since the late 1980s. Ric stuck by his commitment to go on the hunt even though his wife gave birth just days before the trip. He took first prize at the National Buffalo Wing Festival amateur sauce competition.
AL CASTER, Official Judge
Al lives in South Butler, a hamlet near Syracuse, New York. A self-taught musician, Al plays folk, blues, and jazz. He is writing the filmâ€™s theme, a Dylan-esque ballad recounting each stop on the trip. Al has been eating wings for more than 40 years. [Back to Top]
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MATT REYNOLDS, Director
A former journalist, Matt reported on eastern Europe for Reuters and New York Times from 2004 to 2008. Since moving to New York in 2009, he as worked as a film/video editor for clients including History Channel, A&E and ESPN. He was lead editor for the launch of NHL Live, a daily talk show on NHL Network and he recently edited the History Channel documentary, Zombie’s: a Living History. This is his first feature as a director.
DREW “Wing King” CERZA, Associate producer
America’s most famous wing buff, Cerza joined the hunt in Manhattan and welcomed the hunters at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, which he founded in 2002. Inventor of Buffalo wing chowder, Cerza took on (and beat) the Food Networkâ€™s Bobby Flay in a wing throwdown in 2007.
LUCIE MAYEROVA, Judge/Statistician
A native of Czech Republic and Reynolds’ girlfriend, Lucie become a wing expert during the hunt and was an influential voice during deliberations to pick the world’s best wing. Lucie gathered and collected all the data from the hunter’s scorecards and relayed it to a research team based in Michigan.
ZUZA PIUSSI, Slovak Filmmaker
A friend of Reynolds’ from Bratislava, Piussi came to the U.S. “to understand his passion for wings, to understand why he quit his job to go on this trip.” The hunt is a departure from her previous work, including Crying of Angels (2005), about Slovak gays, and Koliba (2007), about the history of Slovak film.
DOUG “FISHEYE” BRANTNER, Cameraman
Fisheye majors in film, with a focus on cinematography (his pun) at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). A hard-ass among slackers, Fisheye kept the hunt’s gear working and its cast and crew on task. After graduation in 2008, he wants to shoot documentaries and moonlight as a roadie.
CASEY PALEOS, Producer
In their college days, Casey gave Reynolds a starring role in a one-minute film, “Matt Reynolds’ Moves”. Bootleg copies of the film are now fetching upwards of $5,000 on eBay. Casey helped develop the film’s themes and meaning. He also encouraged Reynolds to quit his job, return home and devote himself to the trip. Today, Casey roams the passageways of New York’s famous Bellevue Hospital, on the right side of the padded walls, for the time being.
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