Amanda Ibasfalean, a college student at State College of Florida, came across the film subjects for a short last year when someone tried to recruit her to join the Bradentucky Bombers. “I don’t know about joining,” she said, but the subject provided her great material for a student film.
And thus was born “Derby Girls: Inside the Bradentucky Bombers.”
The Bombers are known locally for both the bruising sport of roller derby and for their various philanthropic contributions throughout Southwest Florida. We have a soft spot for the team because former SRQ staff writer Brian Hughes is married to a former Bomber.
Ibasfalean’s 9-minute documentary on the team shows all aspects of the athletes struggling for credibility while building a loyal following. So did the filmmaker change her mind about getting in the rink after following the skaters for four months last year? It was tempting sometimes, she says, but it was clear that anyone who wanted to become a Bomber but be hardcore about the commitment.
“You can’t just say I want to do some roller derby today,” Ibasfalean says. “You have to invest some serious time in it.”