After joining together to launch the Drew Barrymore film Whip It at the Southbank Centre in 2007, London’s two largest roller derby leagues are joining forces for the London premiere of Derby Baby – a story of love, addiction and rink rash!
London Rollergirls and London Rockin’ Rollers would like to invite you to join them at the London premiere of this fantastic film on Saturday 13th October at the Roxy Bar & Screen in London Bridge.
This is a night not to be missed as award winning filmmaker Dave Wruck will also be joining us after the screening for an exclusive Q&A session.
To buy tickets for the event:
Watch the trailer for the film here:
Find out more about the film here:
If you’ve attended a women’s roller derby bout in the sport’s post-
modern incarnation, you’ve seen it, maybe even smelled it: the love, the
pure addiction that drives tens of thousands of women around the globe
to don fishnets and pseudonyms for the privilege of kicking each others
There’s a perfect storm of D-I-Y culture and women’s empowerment in
the U.S. and around the world, so it makes sense that this latest version
of roller derby would take hold of busy women and their daughters
everywhere — literally everywhere. One recent tabulation estimates
the number of female league-affiliated skaters in the U.S. at over 20,000
and steadily rising, and the first-ever Roller Derby World Cup in 2011
had women from Auckland to Dublin strapping on skates to compete
But how is all this energy and passion evolving the sport? Why are the
skaters and supporters willing to work for free when the numbers of
paying fans are in the hundreds of thousands and growing steadily?
What does it mean for the D-I-Y derby culture that promoters and
sponsors are starting to capitalize on its popularity? Does derby
need a “rock star” skater to catapult the sport into mainstream
consciousness? Is women’s roller derby a legitimate sport with a
rightful place in the sports media spotlight? Or is it merely a fun
pastime where women can make friends and be part of something
bigger than themselves? And ultimately, will derby join the evolution of
similar freak-sports turned street-sport turned professional sport, like
skateboarding or snowboarding?
For the first time ever, the story of women’s roller derby is covered from
both a national and international perspective, as Emmy Award-winning
filmmakers Robin Bond and Dave Wruck take you with them on their
international quest to learn why women’s flat track roller derby is the
fastest growing sport in the world. Derby, Baby! explores the drama,
the friendships, and the addictive nature of the women’s flat-track roller
derby, including never-before-seen bout footage of the international
flat-track roller derby champions.
Narrated by Whip It star and actress/musician Juliette Lewis, who also
appears on-camera, the Derby, Baby! story spans the most turbulent
and exciting time for the sport in decades, featuring interviews with
promoter Jerry “The Commissioner” Seltzer, whose father Leo Seltzer
invented roller derby in the 1930s; and Chuck Morris, President of AEG
Live Rocky Mountains and one of the most ardent promoters of modern
roller derby. The film looks at the many incarnations of the sport since
its invention 77 years ago, and explores the WWF-like legacy and over-
played television coverage of the past that threatens the sport’s image
even today. Also featured are the new “rock stars” of roller derby,
whose charisma and athleticism may be the key to pushing the sport
over the “tipping point.” Super-fans, critics, sponsors, prominent sports
writers, authors and sociologists weigh in on the phenomenon that
is roller derby, and the sport’s organic — and possibly short-lived —
growth as a unique athletic expression of women’s empowerment.
Check out this new video for Pet Shop Boys song Winner starring London Rollergirls:
Watch this video–it’s hilarious!
In order to celebrate a new film Derby Baby due for release in Autumn 2011, I have decided to make roller derby and film the topic of this blog post. This exciting new addition to the list of roller derby movies covers the recent explosion in popularity of the revival of roller derby and asks questions about the future of the sport.
Check out Derby Baby here:
Roller derby has been the subject of many visual delights over the years. Here are a few to check out:
In 1949, Roller Derby Girl, a 10-minute short film produced and directed by Justin Herman was released as part of Paramount‘s Pacemaker series.
In 1971, the documentary film Derby (titled Roller Derby in the United Kingdom) was released. Directed by Robert Kaylor and produced by Jerry Seltzer’s own company, the film follows skater Mike Snell as he becomes immersed in the world of 1970s professional Roller Derby, and provides competition footage as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of several Roller Derby pros.
In 1986, the 57-minute documentary Roller Derby Mania was released direct to video (NTSC VHS) in North America. It features the L.A. T-Birds roller games team, and includes archival footage of the game’s previous incarnations.
Roller Derby Wars was released direct to video (NTSC VHS) in North America. It was released on video in the UK in 1993
In 2004, the 32nd episode of the sports documentary series Woodie’s World aired on ESPN and contained a segment on a 1971 roller derby revival.
Demon of the Derby: The Ann Calvello Story tells the story of one of derby’s all-time greats Ann Calvello (2001)
The Fireball is the story of a boy, played by Mickey Rooney, who runs away to join the roller derby
Unholy Rollers: The Leader of the Pack. A tale of a woman who quits her job to start a new life as a rollergirl. (1972)
Kansas City Bomber starring the fabulous Raquel Welch as a derby girl rising to fame
Jam is a film about the lives of derby skaters and promoters in Texas released in 2006.
High Heels on Wheels. A film featuring several former professional skaters reminiscing about their roles as female athletes and “out” lesbians in the roller derby community. (2006)
Rollergirls is a series of 13 hour long reality-style episodes about roller derby in Texas. (2006)
Hell-on-Wheels: The True Tale of All-Girl Roller Derby, Texas Style. A documentary about the beginnings of women’s roller derby in Texas (2007)
Blood on the Flat Track. A documentary about the formation of Seattle’s Rat City Rollergirls, premiered at the 2007 Seattle International Film Festival
Roller Derby Revival. A short feature about the roller derby revival. (2008)
Roller Derby Dolls. A short documentary about the recent revival of Roller Derby in Australia. (2008)
Roller Warriors is a 7-part documentary series covering the 2008 Kansas City Roller Warriors season
Speed Queen The ‘Speed Queen’ is Ulrike Kubatta, video artist and a former motorcycle courier, who briefly swapped the hazardous streets of central London for the fast and frenzied world of the American sport of Roller Derby. (2009)
The 9th episode of the sports documentary series Timeless aired on ESPN and spotlighted the Los Angeles Derby Dolls. (2009)
Brutal Beauty: Tales of the Rose City Rollers is a documentary about a Portland (Oregon) league, which premiered in 2010
Whip It An adaptation of former La Derby Doll Shauna Cross’s novel starring Ellen Page (“Juno”) as Bliss Cavendar, an indie-rock loving misfit, a combat-boot-wearin’ square peg in the very round hole of Bodeen, Texas, where football and beauty pageants are the guiding lights, yet she finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery by discovering a roller derby league in nearby Austin. (2009)
Also coming in late 2011 is Star Cross’d Jammers. A romantic comedy blended with roller derby action. It combines a modern day sport with a classic Shakespearian tale. A Romeo and Juliet style feud between two roller derby leagues that despise one another is fuelled when the star jammers from each league fall in love.