Three Cheers for the Tribeca Film Festival!

Last Saturday, I was given a great opportunity by the Discovery Educator Network to attend a Discovery Film premier at the Tribeca Film Festival.  I joined my fellow DEN members, Jennifer Dorman, Marti McGrath & Beverly Plein for the premier of Doubletime, an amazingly inspirational documentary about competitive jump roping (yes that sport actually exists- if you’ve never seen it before, keep an eye out on ESPN to catch a competition- you’ll be hooked)!

DOUBLETIME was directed by Stephanie Johnes and tells the story of two internationally competitive jump rope organizations, the Bouncing Bulldogs of Chapel Hill, NC, and the Double Dutch Forces of Columbia, SC.

The following is taken from the movie’s trailer site, as they do a much better job of explaining it than I ever could:

"If seeing is believing, watching these kids Double Dutch elicits
double-takes and disbelief. Chronicling the world of competitive jump roping,
this energetic documentary follows two teenage teams that combine dance and
gymnastics to breathtaking effect, as they prepare and contend for the world
championship at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Take one part dance, a bit of gymnastics, a\ntry at the high jump and a dash of breakdance, throw it all on an obstacle\ncourse and you get Double Dutch. The athletes dedicated to this challenging\nform of jump roping come in all ages and from disparate places. In fact, as\ndirector Stephanie Johnes shows in her invigorating, fun documentary, jump\nroping has become quite a competitive sport. She introduces two rival Double\nDutch teams, The Bouncing Bulldogs of North Carolina and The Double Dutch\nForces from South Carolina.\nMade up of grade school and teenage jumpers, these teams compete in different\nleagues, but now for the first time, they will face off on the stage of Harlem's Apollo Theater for the Holiday Classic\ncompetition and see if any of them can win the grand championship of Double\nDutch. The Bulldogs represent the best of gymnastic freestlye jumping found\nmostly in white suburbia, while the Forces belong to the inner city African\nAmerican tradition of Double Dutch. \u003cem\>\u003ci\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Tahoma\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-family:Tahoma\”\>Doubletime \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/i\>\u003c/em\>traces the origins\nof these two styles of jumping with vintage video and interviews with the\ngodfathers and founders of the league. Their background informs both teams'\nstyles, and as Johnes gets to know most of the participants intimately, she\nlets the audience learn just how much this sport means to the individuals who\nare passionate about it. But most of all, Johnes finds some young people doing\nrelatively miraculous things-in Double Dutch and in life. \u003cem\>\u003ci\>\u003cfont face\u003d\”Tahoma\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”font-family:Tahoma\”\>Doubletime \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/i\>\u003c/em\>will\nleave you smiling-that is, if you can get your jaw to stop dropping at the\nstrength, style and perseverance of these incredible kids.\u003cbr\>\n\u003cbr\>\n—Aaron Dobbs \u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003cfont color\u003d\”#333333\” face\u003d\”Trebuchet MS\”\>\u003cspan style\u003d\”color:#333333\”\>\u003c/span\>\u003c/font\>\u003c/p\>\n\n\u003c/div\>\n\n\u003c/div\>\n\n\n”,0]
);

//–>Take one part dance, a bit of gymnastics, a
try at the high jump and a dash of breakdance, throw it all on an obstacle
course and you get Double Dutch. The athletes dedicated to this challenging
form of jump roping come in all ages and from disparate places. In fact, as
director Stephanie Johnes shows in her invigorating, fun documentary, jump
roping has become quite a competitive sport. She introduces two rival Double
Dutch teams, The Bouncing Bulldogs of North Carolina and The Double Dutch
Forces from South Carolina.
Made up of grade school and teenage jumpers, these teams compete in different
leagues, but now for the first time, they will face off on the stage of Harlem’s Apollo Theater for the Holiday Classic
competition and see if any of them can win the grand championship of Double
Dutch. The Bulldogs represent the best of gymnastic freestlye jumping found
mostly in white suburbia, while the Forces belong to the inner city African
American tradition of Double Dutch. Doubletime traces the origins
of these two styles of jumping with vintage video and interviews with the
godfathers and founders of the league. Their background informs both teams’
styles, and as Johnes gets to know most of the participants intimately, she
lets the audience learn just how much this sport means to the individuals who
are passionate about it. But most of all, Johnes finds some young people doing
relatively miraculous things-in Double Dutch and in life. Doubletime will
leave you smiling-that is, if you can get your jaw to stop dropping at the
strength, style and perseverance of these incredible kids."

—Aaron Dobbs

None of us was exactly quite sure what we were in for, as we’d never been to a film festival before, nor did we really know much about the movie.  Well, let me just tell you that the entire experience COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER!  The movie was amazing- we laughed, we cried, we even stood up & cheered (during the movie).  After the screening, the director was joined onstage by the entire cast, which included the coaches of both teams and the team members themselves.  They indulged us in a Q&A session, which left us all inspired by the fact that there are dedicated  mentors & young adults such as these working to bring people together- even in competition- instead of trying to seperate based on skill, social status or Race.

After the screening we moved on to Robert DeNiro’s landmark downtown restaurant, Tribeca Grill, for a spectacular after party with other Discovery Communications guests, as well as the two teams & their guests. The restaurant is located on the first two floors of the Tribeca Film
Center, which is the headquarters for De Niro’s Tribeca Productions
film company, the Tribeca Film Festival and Miramax. The building is a
historic 1905 warehouse that was once the Martinson Coffee factory. While we enjoyed a great meal and great conversation, the teams treated us to a half-hour demonstration of their talents outside on the sidewalk! Only in New York…  Their "tricks: were so amazing, most of us held our breath half the time! Check out some of the highlights below-

Thanks Discovery, for another unforgettable opportunity to Explore My World!
 

P.S. I don’t have any dates yet, but keep an eye out for Doubletime at your local theater, otherwise don’t miss it when it eventually ends up on the Discovery Channel- you won’t be sorry!

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