The setting: Venice Beach, CA, 1984, and the birth of a new phenomenon called roller dancing.
At the time, Venice Beach was the epicentre of a pop culture explosion – a “do what you wanna do, be who you wanna be” kind of place. Young people of color especially seeking refuge from the turmoil of inner city life flocked to the eclectic ocean community where they created what became roller dancing! The talent and vibrant personality of this multicultural roller *movement* drew massive crowds and influenced Hollywood.
But, not surprisingly, politics, money and gentrification conspired to end the dream just as it started to really flourish.
A crowd-pleasing feature doc with a nostalgic soundtrack, “Roller Dreams” documents the rise and fall of the Venice Beach roller skate dancing scene from 1978 to present, addressing the question, “can these soul-inspired brothers and sisters reunite and revive the roller dream?”
The feature documentary is directed by Kate Hickey, and produced by Cecilia Ritchie and Diana Ward.
Starring in the film are James Lightning aka ‘Mad’, Sara Messenger aka ‘Sally Piano’, Terrell Ferguson, Larry Pitts, James ‘Jimmy’ Rich, and Duval Stowers.
Nominated for the Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Australian Documentary, “Roller Dreams” will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival which kicks off today June 7 – June 14. It’ll make its Stateside premiere at the LA Film Festival, June 14-22.
Check out a trailer for “Roller Dreams” below: