Thanks to the Discovery Educator Network, I was able to join Heather Sullivan, Beverly Plein, and Marti McGrath for the premiere of the Discovery Films documentary, DOUBLETIME. 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 story follows these two champion teams on their quest to take home Best in Show honors at the Holiday Double Dutch Tournament at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, NYC. Though both teams were champions many times over in their respective leagues, neither had ever competed in the fusion competition at the Apollo. Thus, both would face similar challenges in preparing for the international competition.
I have to say that I wasn’t really sure what to expect – I was to screen a documentary about jump roping after all . . . I knew absolutely nothing about the sport of jump roping before this film. My knowledge of jump roping extended just as far as the playground memories of my childhood.
The film was fabulous! I simply could not stop smiling for the entire film. I laughed, I teared up, but most of all, I felt inspired by the stories of hard work and perseverance inherent in the challenges facing these two teams.
Following the film, we were delighted by the Q&A session during which the director, producer, coaches, and teams answered audience questions. The students were articulate and inspiring. I felt that I knew each one of them personally because Stephanie Johnes so eloquently captured and expressed their personalities throughout the film. Before acknowledging the teams, the producer made an exciting announcement; instead of being released directly to the Discovery Channel, DOUBLETIME will first hit the big screen!
Following the film many from among the audience walked to the Tribeca Grill for an after party. The teams captivated those in attendance with a half-hour demonstration of their creative athleticism.
So, keep an eye out for the theater release of DOUBLETIME. It is a story well-worth your screening. I can guarantee that you will leave the theater inspired by the heart-warming story and that you will feel connected to the engaging student stars of the film.