Films: Battle for the Boot

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Battle for the Boot

Battle for the Boot

USA, 2010, 97 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Colorado, Documentary, Local, Sports
Programs: Documentary Films, Spotlight on Colorado
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Ryan Demers, Paul Pendell
Producer: Ryan Demers, Paul Pendell
Editor: Ryan Demers, Paul Pendell
Cinematographer: Paul Pendell
Principal Cast: 

The Denver Kickball Coalition (DKBC) got its start when a Norwegian foreign-exchange student complained that his American friends were nothing but boozers who never got outside or played sports of any kind. This group of artists, musicians, drunks and outcasts took up the gauntlet, finally settling on kickball as their sport of choice. Advertising in alternative news outlets for participation, they quickly put together a rogue league (which has no affiliation with the World Adult Kickball Association) and launched what is becoming more of a movement than a pastime.

The game itself is modeled on baseball but employs balls that are larger and bouncier than those used for soccer. Over the course of a decade, the league has expanded to run an entire season, developing staunch rivalries that are played off in a championship series. The prize? The spray-painted boot of the title.

Sports are only part of the story. The real power of this locally produced documentary lies in its in-your-face, tongue-in-cheek interviews with the oft-costumed participants. Fueled by endorphins and frenetic team spirit, they are walking examples of what it’s like to live full out. The bizarre culture they’ve invented has a little of the brutal fun of hockey combined with plenty of the hardcore rock ‘n’ roll that’s used as a soundtrack to their games. Sometimes they seem to be parodying serious athletes; sometimes they just sound like unruly barflies. But their most appealing qualities are their energy and their loyalty to the DKBC—and one another. This is the first feature film for local codirectors Paul Pendell and Ryan Demers.
—Val Moses

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