Filmmakers Cassie Hay and Amy Winston
Filmmakers Cassie Hay and Amy Winston
Queens of Pain Opens Brooklyn Film Festival

(released 6/6/2021)

The Brooklyn Film Festival is back and had its first in-person screening in 2 years. The festival opened with a sold out screening of Queens of Pain.

Queens of Pain is a documentary by sisters Cassie Hay and Amy Winston. It tells the story of three members of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby League.

These three athletes have individual arcs while coming together to play the same game. Suzy Hotrod is your pure athlete and the face of the league. Evilicious just had a baby and tries to get her body back into game shape while juggling motherhood. Captain Smack Sparrow, already a mother, is getting married and as a newbie to roller derby, is just trying to prove to herself that she can go move up from the development team.

As acknowledged in the Q&A, they decided to show the lives of the players and not get bogged down in explaining the rules of the game. Not knowing the rules, I did want some of this to understand the game. It's a better choice though, because I can now go look up the rules of the game. Catching an intimate glimpse into the players' lives creates a much better picture.

Although both sisters are from Texas, the story genesis comes from Cassie having lived in New York City and playing with the Gotham Girls from 2006-2011. The film premiered online at the Austin Film Festival in October 2020.

Both filmmakers and numerous players from the league showed up for the screening. Below are some photos from the opening and also the Q&A after the film.

The Brooklyn Film Festival continues through Sunday, June 13th for both in-person and online screenings. Check out the rest of the schedule on the festival website.

Audience a few minutes before the screening of Queens of Pain

Q&A after the screening with Amy Winston and Cassie Hay

Filmmakers and members of the Gotham Girls Roller Derby League

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