ALICE FEST to screen Elon student’s roller derby documentary

Senior Kathryn Jeffords’ short film, ‘Gate City Roller Girls,’ has been selected to be a part of the Durham festival, scheduled for Sunday, March 8.

Kathryn Jeffords ’15 created the film ‘Gate City Roller Girls’ as part of the School of Communications' elondocs program.
Kathryn Jeffords ’15 created the film ‘Gate City Roller Girls’ as part of the School of Communications’ elondocs program.[/caption]A short documentary film directed, edited and produced by strategic communications major and elondocs member Kathryn Jeffords ’15 will be shown at the fourth annual ALICE FEST. The one-day film festival will be presented in downtown Durham on Sunday, March 8.

 “Gate City Roller Girls” tells an unpredictable story of women who have found empowerment and athleticism competing in roller derby events. The roller skating sport, which has undergone several boom-and-bust cycles in the last 75 years, has experienced a recent revival. Roller derby has found a significant foothold in the city of Greensboro, where an all-women flat-track league was established in 2010.

“What interested me was the recent renaissance of roller derby and how it evolved from a hyper-sexualized, theatrical spectacle of the 1970s into a symbol of empowerment for women in full-contact athletics,” said Jeffords. “I was intrigued to hear each woman’s story of how they found derby, how it gives them strength on a daily basis and, in many cases, how it has changed their lives.”

At the inception of her project, the School of Communications student admitted she wasn’t sure what to expect heading into her interviews with roller derby athletes. “But I was so pleasantly surprised with how open and willing to share their stories all the women were,” she said. “I felt immediately accepted into their circle of friendship which attests to the ability of roller derby to unite women from all different backgrounds in a circle of strength, support and comradery, which is so rare these days.” 

Presented each year in recognition of Women’s History Month, ALICE FEST will be held at Durham’s Full Frame Theater. Doors open at 1:30 p.m. The films begin at 2 p.m. and conclude at 5 p.m.

Admission is free, but reservations are required prior to the event due to limited space. RSVPs should be directed to

Related Articles

Additional Media