Rollaball will be an inspiring film that proves that physical limitations are no match for the human spirit.
Filmed in and around Accra in the West African nation of Ghana, Rollaball follows the Rolling Rockets, Ghana’s disabled skate soccer team, as they battle for recognition as well as for their own day-to-day survival.
Ghana has a proud soccer heritage, so it is little wonder then that you will find the game played in all shapes and forms around the country. Some unexpected athletes play one of the most exciting and unique forms of the game. Skate soccer is a game created by disabled athletes that is every bit as skillful and antagonistic as the able-bodied version of the game.
involves plenty of big talking and posturing, full body collisions
and players being thrown from their custom-made skateboards.
Every Sunday these young polio survivors, like Rasta, Smallee and No Fear, converge on a deserted downtown taxi rank where for a few hours they can be heroes to themselves, each other and the loyal able-bodied supporters who cheer from the sidelines.
But after the game, many of these players can only look forward to the streets to rest their weary bodies. Ostracized by society, many are forced to eke out a living begging and sleeping on the streets. Come Monday they hit the streets and are a common sight, dodging traffic at the busiest and most dangerous intersections in the capital.
When they do get money, some of the guys party up a storm, hanging out in bars, smoking weed and chasing women, while others do their best to support their families.
Rolling Rockets’ coach and manager Albert K. Frimpong lives a very different life. Able-bodied and trained in the IT industry, Albert devotes his spare time and money to further the cause of the Rolling Rockets.
Rollaball offers an up-close look at Ghana’s national skate soccer team as they work towards their sporting goal. We also look at the personal stories of the harrowing and challenging lives the players deal with in their daily battle to survive.
HOW THIS FILM IS DIFFERENT
Our film focuses on people with disabilities who live on the streets of Accra, Ghana. While they appear to be victims of poverty, they are trying to take control of their lives through sport, which helps them to look beyond their daily struggles.
Through our filmmaking experience, we have noted a number of trends in the kinds of films that are generally commissioned about Africa. The main tendency is to focus on stories that deal with victims of war, poverty, sexual violence and AIDS. These stories reinforce the one-dimensional stereotypes of Africa as a helpless victim. Similarly, there are many stereotypes about people with disabilities. We intend for this film to help break these misunderstandings and contribute to changing these stereotypes.