(2017, 80 min.)
Directed by: Kate Hickey
Producers: Cecilia Ritchie, Diana Ward
Cinematographer: Toby Oliver
Editor: Rachel Grierson-Johns, Kate Hickey
Music: Kathryn Bostic
Cast: James Lightning aka Mad, Sara Messenger aka Sally Piano, Terrell Ferguson, Larry Pitts, James ‘Jimmy’ Rich, Duval Stowers
Venice, California, is an eclectic, iconic home to surfers, skateboarders, bodybuilders and…roller dancers. Roller Dreams is the story of the all-but-forgotten Venice Beach of the 1980s, when roller dancers ruled the boardwalk and people of all ages flocked to witness the phenomenon. The image of a beautiful, bikini-clad blonde roller-skating down the boardwalk is one that has long been associated with Southern California, and Venice in particular. In the 1980s, an incredible group of roller skaters decided to break out the boombox, turn up the music and move to the beat – with skates on their feet. Thus, roller dancing was born and the dancers quickly began to attract hundreds of spectators every day.
With her first documentary feature, director Kate Hickey assembles the untold history of roller dancing in Venice. Featuring unforgettable archival footage, Roller Dreams is the fascinating story of a time that ended far sooner than it should have due to politics, racism and gentrification. A crowd-pleaser from start to finish, you’ll wanna lace up your skates and get down and boogie after watching this one-of-a-kind LA story.
– Jenn Wilson
Preceded by short film, A Few Things About Robert Irwin, Directed by Lisanne Skylar