Watch: Official trailer drops for Elliot Page's new sapphic cheerleading film Backspot

The film follows Riley who struggles to perform when a professional coach invites her to join her prestigious cheerleading squad, the Thunderhawks.

Image from Backspot film where lead character is staring into the camera and doing a push up

The official trailer for Elliot Page’s new sapphic cheerleading film Backspot has just dropped!

Devery Jacobs stars as Riley, a cheerleader under pressure who, according to the film’s official description, is the “formidable backspot on her mid-level cheerleading squad,” also described as “the quarterbacks of stunts.”

The film follows Riley as she is invited by professional coach Eileen McNamara (Evan Rachel Wood) to join her prestigious cheerleading squad, the Thunderhawks. McNamara has an intense coaching style, demonstrated by statements like: “If you want to survive in this world, you can’t show pain or fear. This world is not kind to weak people.”

While trying to shine in this high-pressure environment, Riley also navigates dating one of her teammates, Amanda (Kudakwashe Rutendo).


The film’s official synopsis says: “Overwhelmed, obsessive and with a competition looming, this young queer athlete must decipher her own voice from the women around her, and form a healthier relationship (with) the sport she loves.”

Backspot has already been praised for showing the intense athleticism that cheerleading requires. As a former regional champion gymnast, Jacobs did most of her own stunts for the film.

Jacobs told Entertainment Weekly that there hasn’t been a queer, female and non-binary take on competitive cheerleading before, and said: “I really believe that I’d never be cast in a role like this if I hadn’t created it for myself with D.W.”

Jacobs thought of the idea for the film alongside non-binary director D.W. Waterson in 2017, who previously created, wrote, and directed the web series That’s My DJ.

Together they produced a short film with the cheerleading concept, but they struggled to find funding for the feature-length film. Thankfully, Elliot Page came on board.

The feature is produced by Page’s production company, Pageboy Productions, and the multitalented actor is the film’s executive producer. Backspot also stars Shannyn Sossamon, Thomas Antony Olajide, Wendy Crewson and Noa DiBerto.

Backspot premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2023, and it opens in US cinemas on May 31. While we’re anxiously awaiting an official Irish release date, check out the two-minute trailer below to give you a hit of what’s in store!

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.