Rollball in Venice
In August/September 2014, Rollaball was selected as part of Venice Final Cut at the Venice Film Festival. Seven African and Middle-Eastern projects were selected to pitch their work-in-progress projects to industry during the festival. Director Eddie Edwards was in attendance.
Rollaball is vey pleased to announce that we were awarded visual and special effects support from Knightworks in Paris.
More details hereRead More
Rollaball News (October/November 2013)
It’s been a year since our Kickstarter campaign and a lot has happened! We want to share the latest news with you:
Since our February shoot in Ghana, we have been assembling the new footage – it’s looking really good! We hope to have some clips to share with you on our Facebook page and website next month.
The good news is that we received some additional funding that will allow us to travel to Ghana and Nigeria to film a skate soccer tournament between the Nigerian and Ghanaian teams. This will be great exposure for the sport and the Rolling Rockets.
This does mean that the film will not be completed this year as we originally projected – but we hope that this new footage will make it worth the wait! A release in time for the 2014 Soccer World Cup is looking like the most likely option. We hope that the worldwide focus on soccer will provide the ideal platform on which to present skate soccer to the world!
For those who backed the project on Kickstarter, we will keep you up to date on the proposed dates for delivery of your rewards. We appreciate your patience and your continued support!
All the best from Eddie, Steven, Shelley and the RB teamRead More
We’re off to Ghana!
It’s 4 months on from our successful Kickstarter campaign and we have some news we thought you’d like to hear.
Last night our crew (director Eddie Edwards, director of photography, Frank, and sound recordist, Joe) arrived in Accra, ready for a 2 week shoot! They join our local crew of Kofi, York, Mawuli and Michael. This shoot marks the start of Rollaball’s principal photography and we’re very excited about what we will capture during this time. We’ll be spending time with the Rolling Rockets players – both on and off the ‘field’ – filming interviews, skate soccer matches, in-fighting, baby-naming ceremonies and their lives on the street. Eddie and Frank have also come up with some innovative ways to film the matches, which involves a homemade skateboard and a GoPro camera…
Thanks for your continued support.
The Rollaball teamRead More
Rollaball scores Kickstarter goal!
Rollaball successfully reached its fundraising goal on Saturday, 22 September 2012, on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Big World Cinema’s documentary-in-progress raised $38 577 from 294 funders across the planet, making it the most successful Kickstarter movie project from an African production company. In addition, Rollaball is now in the top 3% of all funded projects on Kickstarter that have raised over $20 000.
Rollaball will tell the story of The Rolling Rockets, an inspiring team of Ghanaian polio survivors who are pioneering an extreme sport hybrid of handball, skating and soccer. During the Kickstarter campaign, The Huffington Post called them “the world’s most bad-ass extreme athletes.”
Director Eddie Edwards says, “I was so happy to be able to phone the guys in Ghana with the fantastic news that we exceeded our goal. We are now able to return to Ghana to complete filming and are aiming for a mid-2013 release. The team’s ecstatic – it shows them that the world is interested in skate soccer and affirms their dream of holding the first African Skate Soccer Cup of Nations next year.”
Abdul Rahaman (aka No Fear), one of the founding members of The Rolling Rockets, adds, “Thank you to everyone for supporting. This is so great; we’re going to make a movie!”
Big World Cinema’s Steven Markovitz is producing the documentary. Steven co-founded Encounters, Africa’s most prestigious documentary festival; co-produced MTV’s Best African Movie 2010, Viva Riva!; and is producing the upcoming Jambula Tree, winner of the Arte Prize for Best Feature Film Project at Durban International Film Festival 2012.
He says, “For our Kickstarter campaign to work, we knew we’d need more than the support of our friends and family in South Africa and Ghana. The overwhelming encouragement we received from all over the world shows that Rollaball has true global appeal.”
Rollaball’s campaign had funders from five continents and received high-profile endorsements from the likes of Ghanaian Black Stars internationals Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari; paralympian and 2012 torch-bearer Anne Wafula Strike; and World Cup Skateboarding, as well as Disabled Peoples’ International’s world chair Javed Abidi; The UN Special Rapporteur on Disability; The Africa Decade of Persons With Disabilities; and South Africa’s Department of Women, Children and People With Disabilities. It also received support via social media from Golden Globe winner Mia Farrow, Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi, and award-winning science fiction novelist Lauren Beukes, among others.
Associate producer Shelley Barry, a filmmaker and disability activist, says, “We received interest from a number of sales agents during the campaign, our next step is to finalise our international broadcast partners and funders.”
In addition to its Kickstarter success, Rollaball has received production funding from The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, won the Puma.Creative Catalyst Award in partnership with Britdoc Foundation in 2011, and been selected out of 571 entries for the prestigious Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2012.
New associate producers include Kevin Kriedemann, Ian Learmonth, The Nerves of Us and Polio Survivors & Associates Rotarian Action Group.Read More
Michael Essien endorses skate soccer documentary
Footballer Michael Essien, founder of the Michael Essien Foundation, is the latest star to put his name behind Rollaball. This documentary-in-progress tells the inspiring story of The Rolling Rockets, a team of Ghanaian polio survivors who are pioneering an extreme sport combination of skating and soccer.
Rollaball is currently crowdsourcing production funding via a 30-day campaign on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.
“Skate soccer is one of the most inspiring forms of the beautiful game I’ve seen and shows how the sport can be adapted and enjoyed by anyone,” says Michael, the Ghana Black Stars international who recently moved to Real Madrid on loan from Chelsea. “These athletes’ determination, strength and creativity is inspiring and makes me proud to be Ghanaian. I hope the Rollaball documentary will give them the exposure they deserve and I look forward to seeing Ghana host an African Cup of Nations for skate soccer in the near future.”
Michael’s endorsement follows similar shows of support from the likes of AC Milan midfielder and Ghanaian Black Stars international Sulley Muntari; paralympian Anne Wafula Strike; World Cup Skateboarding; and Australia’s National Skateboarders Association.
“Michael’s endorsement is an inspiration for the entire team and makes us even more determined to host the first Skate Soccer Cup of Nations in Ghana next year,” says Albert K. Frimpong, coach of The Rolling Rockets and executive director of SYDOGhana (Sports and Youth Development Organisation).
Big World Cinema’s Steven Markovitz is producing the documentary, which won the Puma.Creative Catalyst Award in partnership with BRITDOC and has already been featured as a Kickstarter Staff Pick and on the curated Kickstarter pages of both Good Pitch and Okayafrica.
Steven co-founded Encounters, Africa’s most prestigious documentary festival; co-produced MTV’s Best African Movie 2010, Viva Riva!; and is producing the upcoming Jambula Tree, winner of the Arte Prize for Best Feature Film Project at Durban International Film Festival 2012. Rollaball is being directed by Eddie Edwards, who also helmed the award-winning sports documentary The Fight, about South African boxing champion Andile Tshongolo.
To help make the completed documentary possible, visit http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rollaballmovie/rollaball-skate-soccer. Pledges start from as little as $10.
As part of his endorsement, Michael has donated five autographed 10x12inch photographs of him taken after his Champions League victory. This reward is exclusive to the first five people to pledge $600, who will also receive Batik cloth wrap from Ghana; a box set of four DVDs from Africa; special thanks on the film end credits; and a digital download of the completed film, among other perks.
The Kickstarter campaign ends on 22 September 2012. Eddie says, “If the full target of $35 000 isn’t raised, Kickstarter will not charge any of the contributors, meaning that we won’t receive any of the funding needed to complete production, so please help us spread the word. Thank you for your support; we can’t do this without you.”
“Sport is such an important part of life for everyone, keeping them healthy and bringing people together no matter what age, sex, ability or disability. Rollaball, about an inspiring team of Ghanaian polio survivors who are pioneering an extreme sport combination of skating and soccer, is a really inspirational story showing how courage and determination prevail. I always wanted to be a footballer and never let anything stand in my way, so I have the greatest admiration and respect for these guys playing sport with more barriers to success than most. This film also plays a vital role in highlighting the massive challenges that people suffering from polio face, especially in Ghana where it is still stigmatized and many have to resort to begging and living on the streets to survive. I wish the best of luck to everyone behind the film, particularly the inspiring individuals who have shared their story with the world.” Sulley Muntari, AC Milan midfielder & Ghanaian Black Stars international
“Rollaball is an inspirational film that shows that no matter how hard life may be, sport can be liberating. It’s heartbreaking to see what these men have to do to survive on a daily basis – dodging in between busy traffic to beg for money to hold body and soul together. But when Sunday comes all is forgotten in the thrill of playing skate soccer, a game that makes them feel totally alive. Their ingenuity in adapting equipment makes for a fast and furious game on the streets. It’s exciting to watch and it really deserves a far wider audience. And who knows, it could one day be a sport to inspire persons with disability all over the world, and take its place alongside wheel rugby and basketball. For it’s not where these men live but how they live that will cause us to put life into perspective.” Anne Wafula Strike, Paralympic wheelchair racer, author and polio survivorRead More
Rollaball at the 65th Cannes Film Festival
The National Film and Video Foundation included Rollaball in their catalogue of projects that went to Cannes in May. The NFVF selected projects out of those that have recently received funding and featured them in their catalogue, as well as at the South African Pavilion on the Croisette. The large 2m x 2m Rollaball poster was on display throughout the festival and received great feedback.Read More
Skate soccer and Rollaball featured by CNN Inside Africa
by Daisy Carrington
Polio victims are not an uncommon sight in Accra. The poorest of them often make a living from begging, weaving through the Ghanaian capital’s traffic on homemade skateboards, seeking handouts from passing motorists. It’s not an easy life.
“Going amongst the cars, it’s very dangerous,” attests Aminu Yaro, aka Smallee, a polio survivor who moved to the city from Niger.
“Some drivers’ breaks might fail and the car could run you down.”
While during the week, many choose to ignore these men, and the deftness they exhibit when navigating the roads, on Sundays, Ghanians turn up in the hundreds to watch them play a sport that could one day be a hit on the Paralympic circuit: skate soccer.
“When Saturday comes, I go to sleep early, because I know tomorrow morning I’m going to play ball,” says Yaro.
Yaro is a member of the Rolling Rockets, a team of about 40 polio survivors. As many have limited use of their legs, the men play their version of soccer on skateboards, and hit the ball with their hands.”
See photos and read more on CNN: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/02/world/africa/skate-it-like-beckham-polio/index.html
A Rollaball Update (May 2013)
Since our February shoot in Ghana, we have been assembling the new footage – it’s looking really good!
In April we received great news that the Rolling Rockets had been invited to participate in the Super 4 Para-Soccer Demonstration match in Nigeria this October. Three Nigerian teams will compete against one team from Ghana in this Promisador-sponsored clash. The Ghanaian team will be made up of players from all over the country so we hope that a few Rolling Rockets members will make the cut! The good news is that we received some additional funding that will allow us to film the tournament; this will be great exposure for the sport.
This does mean that the film will not be completed mid-year as we originally projected, but we hope that this new footage will make it worth the wait! Thank you for your continued support!!Read More
Huffington Post: “Rollaball: New Documentary Features Inspiring Team Of Ghanaian Polio Survivors”
A soccer game in which you can use your hands?
A new Kickstarter-funded documentary, Rollaball, hopes to give skate soccer — a burgeoning extreme sport — the push it needs for national recognition and Paralympic status.
Skate soccer is fast and extremely physical; played by people with disabilities it combines skating, soccer and handball. Players roll around the concrete field on homemade skateboards, and have to hit the ball into the net to score.
Sounds cool, right? But what’s even cooler is that the documentary tells the story of an unlikely but extremely inspiring band of players for whom the game is almost redemptive in nature.
The Rolling Rockets are a team of Ghanaian polio survivors who’ve found new purpose in life through skate soccer –despite living with the stigmas of being both disabled and homeless.
Living on the fringe of society, the players must resort to begging to feed their families.
Training for skate soccer, however, keeps their spirits up.
“On Saturday I am going to sleep early because I know that tomorrow morning is Sunday and I’m going to play ball,” one player says.
“Even if I don’t have anything, I know, even right now if you drop a ball in front of me, I can play,” another chimes in.
Director Eddie Edwards hopes the documentary will help improve the lives of the players and also make skate soccer a Paralympic sport.
“Despite all the odds, they’re incredible athletes who deserve to be stars. They have inspired something in me and I believe they’ll inspire many others. Both on and off the field, their stories are legendary,” Edwards said in a press release.
The producers of the film are currently crowdsourcing funding to help complete the documentary project, and a 30-day campaign is under way on Kickstarter.
Article by Sarah Medina, published 18 September 2012.Read More
Kickstarter campaign: 3 days to go!
We’ve been really touched by all the pledges and support coming in from across the world: from Cambodia to Mexico, Slovakia to Nigeria! You’re supporting the team and the dream, and that means so much to us.
But, we’re still $13 500 short and the campaign closes at 22:42 on Saturday 22 September (SAST). We’re optimistic that we can do it but we need your help:
If you know of a friend who might have $5, $10, $25 to spare, please get in touch with them.
If you are up for increasing your pledge, you can do this easily on the Kickstarter page (the green ‘back this project’ button will now be a blue ‘manage my pledge’ button. Click this and follow the instructions.)
If you’re unable to increase your pledge, we understand. If you could tweet / Facebook share / email our story – that would be great!
Thanks for all the support – and if you haven’t already seen it, please check out the Rolling Rockets’ thank you videos!
And read the great Huffington Post story on “the world’s most bad-ass extreme athletes.”Read More
Rollaball launches Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign
Skate soccer won’t be featured at this month’s Paralympics, but a new documentary aims to raise the profile of the bruising new sport.
Rollaball will tell the story of The Rolling Rockets, an inspiring team of Ghanaian polio survivors who are pioneering an extreme sport combination of skating and soccer.
Albert K. Frimpong, coach of The Rolling Rockets and executive director of SYDOGhana (Sports and Youth Development Organisation), explains, “The first game of skate soccer was in Lagos, Nigeria, but it’s now spread throughout West Africa. We played our first international game recently against Nigeria and are hoping to host an Africa Cup of Nations next year.”
Big World Cinema’s Steven Markovitz is producing the documentary, which is currently crowdsourcing production funding via a 30-day campaign on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. After its launch on Friday, Rollaball‘s campaign was immediately selected as one of Kickstarter’s Staff Picks and featured on Good Pitch’s curated page.
Steven co-founded Encounters, Africa’s most prestigious documentary festival; co-produced MTV’s Best African Movie 2010, Viva Riva; and is producing the upcoming Jambula Tree, winner of the Arte Prize for Best Feature Film Project at Durban International Film Festival 2012.
Shelley Barry, a film director and disability rights activist, is associate producer. She asks, “Who decides which sports are played at the Paralympics and what criteria are used? Skate soccer is one of the most gripping sports I’ve ever seen, so it’s a shame that its inspiring athletes won’t be represented at the games, purely because until now the players haven’t had the resources available to campaign successfully for its inclusion. We want this documentary to help change that.”
In the last week, Rollaball’s vision has received high-profile endorsements from the likes of AC Milan midfielder and Ghanaian Black Stars international Sulley Muntari; Disabled Peoples’ International; paralympian Anne Wafula Strike; The UN Special Rapporteur on Disability; World Cup Skateboarding; and South Africa’s Department of Women, Children and People With Disabilities.
Rollaball received production funding from The National Film and Video Foundation of South Africa, won the Puma.Creative Catalyst Award in partnership with BRITDOC in 2011, and was selected out of 571 entries for the prestigious Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2012, but Steven says the current funding landscape means producers need to be more innovative than ever before. “Kickstarter is revolutionizing the film industry, because it allows the audience to take control of the commissioning process and fund what they want to watch.”
Rollaball is being directed by Eddie Edwards, who also helmed the award-winning sports documentary The Fight, about South African boxing champion Andile Tshongolo.
Eddie says, “When I first met the team two years ago, I knew they were something special. These guys face massive challenges off the pitch, as polio is still stigmatized in Ghana, so many of them live on the streets and beg for a living. But despite all the odds, they’re incredible athletes who deserve to be stars. They have inspired something in me and I believe they’ll inspire many others. Both on and off the field, their stories are legendary.”
To help make the completed documentary possible, visit our Kickstarter page. Depending on the size of your pledge, you will receive different rewards, like a digital download of the completed film; a box set of DVDs of the producers’ previous work; Batik cloth wrap from Ghana; or even your name as an executive producer on the films’ credits and on IMDB.com. Pledge options start from as little as $10.
Eddie concludes, “If the full target of $35 000 isn’t raised, Kickstarter will refund all contributions, meaning that we won’t receive any of the funding needed to complete production, so please help us spread the word. Thank you for your support; we can’t do this without you.”Read More
Rollaball selected out of 571 submissions
Rollaball has been selected to pitch at the Sheffield MeetMarket, which is part of the Sheffield Doc/Fest taking place from 13-17 June. Rollaball has been chosen out of 571 submissions and will have the opportunity to pitch the project and meet with potential co-producers, broadcasters and funders. Director Eddie Edwards and producer Steven Markovitz will be in attendance. This is a great way to get the film out there! Read more about the Sheffield Doc/Fest here: http://sheffdocfest.comRead More