I have known editor Giorgio Saturnino and cameraman Carlos Esteves for about 11 years and some of you may know them as well as the team responsible for the creation of all those really cool figure skating videos that are shown in the rink during competitions. Giorgio went to see a screening of Drew Barrymore’s Whip-It starring Ellen Page during the Toronto International Film Festival and was immediately taken with the concept of the Roller Derby. He spoke with Carlos and another friend, Ivan Landers with such enthusiasm that the seed for the proposed TV series Derby Girls was planted.

Their goal was to create a series revolving around the lives of the ordinary women involved in the sport. They did their research and were lucky enough to enlist the cooperation of a Toronto area team called the GTA Rollergirls. To start with, we meet 6 of the 8 characters in the trailer. What the creative team speaks about with pride is the way that the Roller Derby women represent all kinds of different women and who are bonded in a kind of “athletic sisterhood.” Being able to bring real-life characters into the homes of Canadians is very important to Giorgio, Carlo and Ivan; in particular charcaters who have problems with family, jobs, weight, age and everything else in between just like so many others. The women each had to submit a one page self-examination piece and it was from those stories that the initial characters were selected. They approach the matter with sensitivity and compassion while still allowing the women the freedom to express who they are.

The stories are as diverse as any others you will find anywhere and cameraman Carlos has been able to take all of those years filming skaters on and off the ice and use it to capture emotional and compelling footgae to tell the tale.

Did you know…in 1930, 93% of American kids rollerskated? ….in 1948, the Dumont TV Network in the US had Milton Berle’s show as its’ #1 show and was closely followed by Roller Derby in th #2 slot…..Giorgio says that back in the day Roller derby was one of the sports where race didn’t matter.

There was a celebration of sorts tonight at Revival on College Street in Toronto where the TV Trailer was being unveiled for the first time publicly. The hope is that there will be a broadcaster interested in showcasing true stories of these everyday heroines in a series of 13 half hour episodes. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

If you want to check it out – visit www.derbylife.tv or email Giorgio at giorgio@derbylife.tv

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