Boy Cheerleaders

DIRECTOR: James Newton

Armed with pairs of pompoms and an abundance of adolescent energy, the DAZL Diamonds cheerleading squad of South Leeds is preparing to become the first all-boy team to compete in the U.K. Cheerleading Championships. Led by Ian, their flashy head coach with a bleached blonde Bieber haircut and take-no-prisoners coaching style, these scrappy working class kids are told that they “gotta get some balls if they’re gonna win in a predominantly female sport.” But just because they’re male doesn’t mean they’re not emotional, as at least one boy’s tantrum sends him crying into the corner. And on any given day, half the boys are at risk of not participating at all based on their moods, bad behavior or inability to perform. The team is the very definition of ragtag: freckle-faced nine-year-old Harvey sleeps in pink sheets, loves to dance and dreams of being the next Billy Elliot; while sullen 13-year-old Josh has a recurring problem with fighting at school; and 12-year-old Elliot can’t seem to master some of the basic dance moves in their routines. The majority of the boys are raised by single moms, each with their own histories of broken lives and bad choices. But none appear to hold any disdain for the boys’ unusual choice of sport—to them it is a chance to develop skills that might just help their sons succeed in life and keep them from making similar mistakes. Rah!

— JOANNE PARSONT

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D203

Get the Frameline Festival App

A festival in your pocket

FilmFest is a simple, easy to use pocket guide to all the films in this year's festival.

Frameline36 app available now!