Happy Joy Day is Happy

Director Chip Mabry's documentary portrait of Portland's Rose City Rollers won best in show at both the Crossroads Film Festival and the Indie Spirit Film Festival this year, and the Brutal Beauty film tour has been selling out in theaters across the country. Despite his film's success, Mabry says tonight's screenings at Starz Film Center (5:15pm, 7:30pm and 9:45pm at 900 Auraria Parkway, $8) will be bittersweet: Denver is where his film's epic arc came crashing down. "The bout against the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls at the 2009 Women's Flat Track Derby Association Western Regionals ended up being the climax of my film," Mabry says. "They broke my heart by beating our girls."

Mabry, best known for his Portland skateboard scene documentary Rip City, spent eight months as an embedded reporter with the Rose City Rollers, an experience he likens to covering a war on Wonder Woman's Amazonian island. “These women own their bodies, their actions, their voices, and every aspect of their sport. I’ve been told it’s the biggest women’s movement since suffrage, and it's the second fastest growing sport in America after mixed martial arts. When I started filming, most of the teams were competing in high school gyms. Now they're skating in big arenas. These women are so badass you can’t help but get wrapped up in the excitement." Go to www.facebook.com. ¬—Colin Bane
Wed., Nov. 24, 8 p.m., 2010

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte