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Development   /  Gena Lida Riess

Queens of Concrete

A real life journey of discovery as three girls wrestle adolescence in pursuit of Olympic history.


Impact areas





  • DIRECTOR Eliza Cox

  • PRODUCER Gena Lida Riess



QUEENS OF CONCRETE is a coming-of-age documentary, following three young skateboarders over five years. Hayley, Ava and Charlotte have their sights firmly fixed on competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics – the first ever Games to hold a skateboarding event. With just a few spots available on the Australian Olympic team, the pressure to impress the Olympic Committee is huge.

At the same time, the girls face the familiar obstacles of teen years. Charlotte is constantly told she’s too young to do anything, Ava tests her freedom with or without her parent’s permission, and Hayley already feels the weight of past success on her shoulders.

Through all this the girls are continually reminded that they participate in a male dominated sport, and must continue to defy tradition in order to achieve their Olympic dreams.
Each girl will take a different journey over the five year period. Where will it take them and who will they be at the end?

Support this project

1.90% funded
  • $20,000.00

  • $380.00

  • 31st December 2021

  • 1

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4 Donors $380.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Equality does not exist for women in sport. The resulting lack of female participation has become a target of several current federal and state government campaigns designed to engage women in physical activity. Critically, the benefits of physical activity include increased mental and physical wellbeing, but also empowerment through competition especially. QUEENS OF CONCRETE examines the underrepresentation of women in the skateboarding community however, as we’re following three young girls of different ages over five years, the real story is exploring how these girls navigate their adolescence and gender identity in a male dominated culture. Skateboarding emphasises the underlying message to try your best and pick yourself up when you fall down. We believe this is an extremely important message, especially for young women. Female challenges, empowerment, competition, community and comradery are what make this film more than just a sports documentary.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

Research shows that women shy away from physical activity, whereas men are encouraged towards it from a young age. This films purpose is largely to inspire and mobilise more women to break into seemingly male spaces, expressing their identity any way they choose. To that end this project seeks to represent empowered women on screen, specifically in sports – enhancing female visibility.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

To engage a young female audience – as a celebration of female identity, we aim to showcase the different expressions of what it means to be a young girl. We aspire to send a message that no woman has to conform to either the sport they are a part of or the gender they have been assigned. This film will put genuine pressure on the skate community to become inclusive for all. Skateboarding is portrayed as a counterculture sport where people from different backgrounds get together in an accepting environment. However, shown partly, by the inequality of opportunities and prize money, this mantra is not always exhibited. Tangible impact from QUEENS OF CONCRETE is to demand equal prize money for men and women. Additionally, this film will promote skateboarding as an accessible sport; with the power to engage disadvantaged youth all over the world. Due to this, it is even more prevalent that skateparks are inclusive for all.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

Our strategy is to partner with national and state (VIC) government campaigns like Girls Make Your Move and This Girl Can, which advocate for women to be physically active. We strive to promote and partner with these campaigns and alike. As part of our impact goal, we are aiming to use this film to promote skateboarding as an accessible sport – we will promote initiatives like Skateistan and Boarders Without Borders; these organisations believe skateboarding is a great way to engage disadvantaged and marginalised youth.
Additionally, we hope to partner with and promote female/gender diverse skateboarding crews. These crews were created due to the understanding that skateparks are primarily not inclusive to all – this will make it easier for female/gender diverse youth to get involved. This film will serve as an educational material, informing on themes such as, physical wellbeing, mental health and female empowerment - this is vital for young girls to be educated on these topics.


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

We are currently working on partnerships with organisations.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

By displaying young women engaged in physical activity, we will contribute to the movement empowering female sport participation. We hope viewers will walk away with a greater understanding of how sport can empower young people and how important it is to not isolate young women from participating. Having known campaigns, initiatives and organisations who promote the participation of young women in sports will allow audiences to have a direct source of how to contribute to the cause.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Changing structures:
We want this film to put genuine pressure on the skate community to change its behaviour to be a safe space and inclusive space.
Changing behaviours:
By displaying young women engaged in physical activity, will positively contribute to the movement empowering female participation. The film will include rigorous Olympic training, which will incorporate tips on healthy eating and physical activity - this is something women should be engaging in.
Changing beliefs:
We aim to showcase the different expressions of what it means to be a young girl and how gender can be so differently manifested.
Having a known and direct support will make it easier for women to get out there and participate. This will aid our mission to make skateparks an inclusive space.
As we have established that skateboarding has the power to engage a socially and economically diverse range of people, it is even more prevalent that skateparks are an inclusive for all.