Principal photography has kicked off on “Backspot,” the upcoming queer cheerleading film starring Devery Jacobs (“Reservation Dogs”) and newcomer Kudakwashe Rutendo as the leads. It will mark helmer D.W. Waterson (“That’s My DJ”) directorial feature debut. The film is expected to shoot until mid-March in the Toronto area.
The film hails from Elliot Page’s Page Boy Productions, Night is Y and Prospero Pictures, and was written by Joanne Sarazen, based on a story by Waterson. Page, Matthew Jordan Smith, John Davidson, and Katisha Shaw executive produce; Alona Metzer, Waterson, Jacobs and Martin Katz board as producers.
“Backspot” revolves around two young cheerleaders, Riley (Jacobs) and Amanda (Rutendo). Both are impressive members of their mid-level cheerleading squad until a professional coach gives them a chance to level up with The Thunderhawks. There, they must learn to “negotiate their space, find their voices, and come to an understanding with the generation of women who came before them,” according to the film’s logline.
Thomas Antony Olajide (“Learn to Swim”), Olunike Adeliyi (“The Porter”), Wendy Crewson (“On the Basis of Sex”) and Shannyn Sossamon (“A Knight’s Tale”) also star.
UTA is repping international and U.S. rights to “Backspot.” LevelFILM distributes in Canada, with a subsequent drop date on the Bell Media streaming service Crave, followed by a broadcast on CBC and on the public broadcaster’s streaming service, CBC Gem.
“I’m so proud and excited to finally be going to camera after five long years,” said Waterson. “We’ve assembled an absolutely stacked cast, and an incredible crew, and we are thrilled to be creating something that’s truly kickass, raw, and that has a magic energy behind it.”
“Competitive cheer is incredibly athletic, and our young, queer youth are so resilient. I am beyond looking forward to highlighting both of these communities in “Backspot.”
“Backspot” is produced in association with Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates, CBC Films, and Shaw Rocket Fund.