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Backspot at TIFF

Backspot at TIFF, image,
Courtesy of Night is Y.

Backspot at TIFF
by Staff Editors

(August 3, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Backspot, the highly anticipated feature film debut by multi-hyphenate creator/director D.W. Waterson (That’s My DJ), will have its World Premiere this September at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Executive produced by Elliot Page, the cast includes Devery Jacobs (Reservation Dogs, Marvel’s Echo), Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld, Thirteen), Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight’s Tale, Wristcutters: A Love Story, 40 Days and 40 Nights), newcomer Kudakwashe Rutendo, Thomas Antony Olajide (Learn to Swim, White Lie), Olunike Adeliyi (The Porter, Revenge of the Black Best Friend), and Canadian icon Wendy Crewson (On the Basis of Sex, Room, Gray).

The film tells the story of Riley (Devery Jacobs), who is the formidable backspot on her mid-level cheerleading squad until professional coach Eileen McNamara (Evan Rachel Wood) gives her an opportunity to join the Thunderhawks, a high performance All Star team. Young, ambitious and fiercely in love with her girlfriend Amanda (Kudakwashe Rutendo), Riley would be on top of the world if only she could get her crippling anxiety under control. Desperate to be heard and appreciated, two qualities her home life severely lacks, Riley will do anything to ingratiate herself to her new coach. Overwhelmed, obsessive and with a competition looming, this young, queer athlete must decipher her own voice from the women around her, and form a healthier relationship to the sport that she loves.

D.W. Waterson, film director,
D.W. Waterson photo by Vita Cooper.
“As a Toronto-based creator, it has long been my dream to premiere my first feature film at TIFF, a festival that I have wholly participated in over years, starting as an eager film student, then as an emerging filmmaker and most recently as part of TIFF’s Talent Lab.” said Waterson. “The heart, dedication and grit that has been put into the creation of Backspot, from pre-production to today’s announcement is a testament to the countless queer creatives on this project, and the impressive female and queer athletes breaking their bodies to perform, in a sport that’s undervalued. I am pumped that we get to premiere this film in our hometown.”

Produced by Alona Metzer, D.W. Waterson, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs and Martin Katz, with Executive Producers Elliot Page, Matthew Jordan Smith, J.C. Davidson, and Katisha Shaw, Backspot will be distributed by levelFILM in Canada, and will subsequently air on Crave and broadcast on CBC. The film is produced in association with Telefilm Canada, Ontario Creates and Shaw Rocket Fund. International and US rights to Backspot are currently available and are handled by UTA.

Also see: Evan Rachel Wood’s Backspot.

SOURCE: Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).