DER Documentary

Cheerleader


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by Kimberlee Bassford
color, 24 min, 2005




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Cheerleader explores the quest to be a champion, the experience of being female, and the ins and outs of an All-American pastime, all through the eyes of some of the nation’s youngest cheerleaders. Cheerleading began more than a century ago in the nation’s all-male colleges, and it wasn’t until the 1920s that women became involved. Like most cheerleaders, the Tigers spend their weekends supporting the football team. Their cheers are cute, flirty, and some would even say, sexy. And while yesterday’s cheerleaders stood on the sidelines, the Tigers want center stage. They dance like Paula Abdul and backflip like Mary Lou Retton. They’re athletic, perky and polished – a winning combination in the world of competitive cheerleading. Through the Tigers’ story and the unfolding of cheerleading’s own history, Cheerleader looks at the complexity of the sport and shows how cheerleading remains a robust image in our society – one that influences how we see women and how women see themselves.

Excerpts from Cheerleader are currently being featured in the International Museum of Women's online exhibit Imagining Ourselves (Sept. 15 — Oct. 1, 2007). View clips of the film here.


Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
CINE Golden Eagle Award, 2003
Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, 2003
Northwest Asian American Film Festival, Seattle, WA, 2003
University of California Berkeley Documentary Showcase, Oakland, CA, 2003
Film Arts Festival of Independent Cinema, San Francisco, 2003
Santa Fe Film Festival, New Mexico, 2003
Spindletop Film Festival, Beaumont, Texas, 2004
Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA, 2004
Gold Medal - Documentary, Student Academy Award, 2004
Laemmle Theatres, Los Angeles, CA, 2004
Tambay Film and Video Festival, Tampa, FL, 2004
First Take International Student Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, 2004
Calgary International Film Festival, Canada, 2004
Absolute Time Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, 2004
Academy Award Nominated Short Documentaries, Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA, 2005
broadcast, HBO, March 2005
Kodak's Emerging Filmmaker Showcase, Cannes Film Festival, France, 2005
Jacksonville Film Festival, Florida, 2005
3rd Annual Reel Venus Film Festival, New York, 2005
19th Pärnu International Film Festival, Estonia, 2005
Woods Hole Film Festival, Massachusetts, 2005
Dokufest, International Documentary & Short Film Festival, Kosovo, 2005
DER 35th Anniversary Celebration, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 2006
Fresh Film Festival, Limerick, Ireland, 2006



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