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Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat join crew mates from »Whip It« to help save the L.A. Derby Dolls

The L.A. Derby Dolls called on roller derby and movie fans to join forces this past Sunday for a special screening of »Whip It« at the Regent Theater in Downtown L.A., with all profits going toward the financially stricken, volunteer-based organization. Because of a fire that killed 36 people at a party inside a nonpermitted Oakland warehouse known as the Ghost Ship in December 2016, the city of Los Angeles stopped issuing temporary special event permits to venues such as the Derby Dolls's Dollosseum for two years. As a result, the league is facing costly fees to file for a variance from city zoning laws that would allow them to reopen their doors following the cancellation of three scheduled events so far this year with another event later this month being in jeopardy as well. A fundraising campaign on GoFundMe aiming to raise a total of $119,000 to cover a $27,300 City Filing & Design fee, $75,000 in expected renovation costs of the converted El Sereno warehouse, and monthly operating costs, has met one-third of its goal so far.

Ellen Page, actress Alia Shawkat and singer Landon Pigg joined KPCC radio host and Derby Dolls veteran Alex Cohen, known by her skate name "Axles of Evil", »Whip It« screenwriter Shauna Cross a.k.a. "Maggie Mayhem", and roller derby trainer Jennifer Barbee a.k.a. "Kasey Bomber", co-author of the book "Down and Derby" with Cohen, at this event and participated in a Q&A following the movie screening.

L.A. Derby Dolls Fundraiser (Social Media)L.A. Derby Dolls Fundraiser (Social Media)

Shawkat, who credits Drew Barrymore's directorial debut for reinvigorating her love for acting, was 19 when she joined the film's cast and crew in Detroit. "It was such a strong group of women. Drew wasn't just at the head of it, she definitely set a tone: 'We're all in this together',” she said. "Because of »Whip It«, still to this day people will come up to me and say, 'That movie was so important to me'. A woman came up to me once in Texas and said, 'I was in an abusive relationship, and I started derbying and ended it — it changed my whole life. It gave me strength again.'"

She also took the opportunity to praise the roller derby community itself: "It's about their own sexuality, their own strength, their own sportsmanship, their own competitiveness. These women are so strong in many definitions of the word." -- just like Ellen Page's character Bliss Cavendar, a small-town Texas teen who reinvents herself as a banked track speedster dubbed "Babe Ruthless" and follows her own path.

Another great moment occurred on stage when Ellen and Landon recreated a scene from the movie and Bliss got her Stryker shirt back from Oliver after all these years. Thanks to all fans out there who captured this and shared their photos on the social media with us!

L.A. Derby Dolls Fundraiser (Social Media)L.A. Derby Dolls Fundraiser (Social Media)

Date: 02/13/2017 - 18:53:27 Posted by Dominik
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