Girls on Film:
The Vagine Regime Documentary
“I am the Vagine Regime,” the skater in front of me pronounced with a wink, folding her arms and staring dead into the lens of the camera.
She sure is.
She, and several hundred other skaters, refs, non-skating officials (and even one honorary member, one of the Vegas branch of the eternally fabulous Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence) had converged on this camera lens over the course of several long, hard days of work.
I was tired, it was late into RollerCon’s renowned Pants Off Dance Off event, and the sequins on my onesie had a bit of disco left in them.
But hell, this was my first production spot for this film and I was going to relish every second of it.
RollerCon. That life-sucking, hard-skating, joyous mass of seemingly endless days of seething skaters and roller derby enthusiasts.
What a pleasure. And what a hectic shooting schedule!
It was definitely the dancing, singing, cheering vaginas that were the marvel of that weekend.
That, and the stunning final jam win that the Vagine Team pulled out almost as though they’d known what the cameras wanted.
If you don’t know, I ran away from Melbourne a year ago to inhabit Los Angeles.
And it was almost precisely when I moved that the incredible teaser short for the Vagine Regime documentary project first aired via Kickstarter.
The documentary was my friend Go-Go’s baby as well as the infamous Injure Rogers, a retired skater and founder of the Vagine Regime. (Add in producer and audio guy, Bernard Parham, camera people Bodie Scott-Orman and Sherri Kauk, the other associate producer, Rachel Rotten, and editor Dan Litzinger, and you’ve got quite the crew).
The Vagine Regime is now a worldwide phenomenon, with groups as far afield as France, Sweden, Brazil, New Zealand and of course, Australia.
The moment I saw the teaser for the Vagine Regime documentary, I knew I was in.
Now it was time to raise every cent possible, and help make this film happen in every way I could.
Having volunteered at Melbourne’s first Battle on the Bent Track, I had seen with my own eyes what this community and the people it embraces means, and it clearly needed to happen. And happening it sure is.
Needless to say, the filmmaking has been its own reward.
With big ambitions, lots of filmmaking and roller derby talent and a shoestring budget, we frequently pay our own way to every shoot.
But we are rewarded time and again by incredible people who open up their lives and hearts to us, and sometimes their homes, all in the name of the Vagine Regime.
One incredible story that many people have connected to during the fundraising and making of the documentary is the story of a young transgender girl.
Discovering early in life that she was meant to be a girl, sports had seemed cut off from her life, being so strictly gendered even at a very young age.
The she saw the short for the documentary on the Kickstarter fundraising page.
To say that she was excited about discovering the Vagine Regime and derby role model Fifi Nomenon is kind of an understatement.
She was so excited that she talked her mum into connecting with the Vagine Regime right then and there.
And we were so inspired by her story that we are determined to pull together the resources to bring her and her mum here to Los Angeles from Canada to participate in a junior’s camp, coached by Fifi.
And to make them a part of the film.
It’s stories like hers thatg we have come to recognise as being an intrinsic part of the meaning of the Vagine Regime and this documentary.
These stories have really driven the frantic hard days of work, as we all juggle jobs, derby practice schedules and miles of driving and flying to make it happen.
Hugs and tears of joy or empathy are almost a requirement at every shoot.
We are so profoundly grateful for all the hundreds of people who have supported us along the way.
Keep your eyes peeled, there’s a worldwide premiere next year you don’t want to miss!
To check out the trailer and keep up to date visit vagineregime.com
*This title was an editor choice, and doesn’t represent the queer and varying gender identifications of the people in the documentary.
as seen in Issue 13, Summer 2013.