Since the trailer and then the movie SKATER GIRL was released on Netflix a few weeks, a discussion is going on on social media and in various media outlets wether the movie was inspired by our story in Janwaar or not.
While the movie writers/producers state that the SkaterGirl movie was an amalgamation of many “skater girls” many others say it is heavily influenced by our Janwaar story. You can read our general take on this here.
In the following we point out the (striking) similarities between reel and real, including proof of the real.
- Ulrike Reinhard, a German citizen, set up a skatepark in a rural village in India in 2014/2015. It was built in Janwaar, MP.
- Ulrike is pointing out in ALL her talks the disruptive character of skateboarding – an expression which is used in the film as well. See her talks here, and here and here; just to give a few examples. There is also a blogpost here.
- Ulrike implemented the rule: “No school, no skateboarding!” in Janwaar and as a consequence school attendence went up significantly. Articles on this go back to 2015 in the Hindustan Times or Scroll.in or only recently in The Guardian. Just type into Google no school, no skateboarding and see the results.
- Besides the rule: “No school, no skateboarding!” we also have the rule “Girls first!” in Janwaar. it’s cited in the same articles and others. So the gender issue was key right from the beginning. Just like in the movie.
- The skatepark broke down the barriers between Adiwasi (tribal people) and the Yadav caste in Janwaar. This was pointed out in so many media reports, please see the 101India Barefoot Skatboarder film or Deutsche Welle or mint or Discovery Channel or the latest here. In Janwaar different caste are skateboarding together, they travel together and they eat together!
- In 2016 we held the FIRST JANWAAR SKATEBOARDING CHALLENGE in Janwaar. For the very first time the young Indian skateboarders came together from all over India: Trivandrum, Kolkatta, Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi. Here is the video Decathlon Skateboarding produced on this event. They visited Janwaar with 10 (!) people!
- In the Decathlon video you will also see the Rajmata of Panna (01:37), she supported our initiative. And so did her brother-in-law Lokendra Singh. He is also seen in the video. Both of them have been multiple times in Janwaar and Lokendra Singh was a friend of Ulrike. There is also a Rajmata in the Netflix movie. See also photos below.
- In the Netflix movie a politician was part of the competition. This holds also true for Janwaar. Nagendra Singh, who was back then MP for our district, opened the award ceremony and presented the medals. See also photos below and in the Decathlon video at 02:07
- In Janwaar there is even this little very clever boy Ankush – who indeed has an older sister. He was present during the casting by the film makers crew. See photos below.
- In Janwaar we have two young boys who used to make little skateboards out of clay. Vinati, the sister of the fim director bought one from Karan when she was in Janwaar. Even those made it into the film. (see the clay boards in the photos below)
- And then, last but not least, one girl stands out in Janwaar. Her name is Asha Gond. Just like the main character she is a tribal. Just like the main character she comes from a very poor family. Just like the main character she resisted her parents against all odds in the village and was allowed to skateboard, travel and her parents decided after endless conversations that Asha won’t get married! And just like the main character she has a special relationship with the western woman who built the skatepark in Janwaar. Asha was contacted by the film team a couple of times but they never told her the reel story and never asked her for permission to tell the real story. Yet they use expressions for their main character who are strikingly similar to what Asha is saying when she is asked: “What do you feel when you skateboard? You can read/see about Asha on NDTV, World Skate at the Skateboarding World Championships in China and only recently in mint. There is a lot more out there when you google her name.