EXCLUSIVE: We’re getting an exclusive first look at United Skates, a documentary produced and directed by first-time feature filmmakers Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, ahead of its world premiere at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival.
United Skates centers on the battle in a racially charged environment to save African-American roller rinks, an underground subculture that has thrived for decades in the U.S., fostering community and incubating hip-hop by featuring acts from Dr. Dre and Ice Cube in Los Angeles to Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa and Naughty by Nature on the East Coast. Their ranks have been dwindling, and the feature-length pic becomes part history lesson and part investigation into racial politics as the filmmakers visit black rink owners in L.A., Chicago, North Carolina and elsewhere.
“Five years ago, we were invited to a roller rink in the middle of the night, and honestly, we didn’t know what hit us,” Winkler and Brown said in a statement. “How could we have gone our entire lives without knowing this world existed?! United Skates is our humble attempt to acknowledge a celebratory community, bursting with creativity, music, and heart… that served as an incubator for East Coast Hip Hop and West Coast Rap— and yet somehow has gone unrecognized by the mainstream for generations. Until now!”
Get Lifted Film Co. partners John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius executive produce with Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman of Los Angeles Media Fund, Jim Butterworth and Daniel J. Chalfen of Naked Edge Films, Julie Parker Benello of Secret Sauce Media, and Brenda Robinson. Josh Alexander, Maida Lynn, Nion McEvoy and Johnny Nunez are co-executive producers.
United Skates makes its world premiere April 19 in the Documentary Competition section of the Tribeca Film Festival.
Check out the clip above.