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Directed by Noel Black
Produced by Marshal Backlar
Noel Black
Written by Noel Black
Starring Michael Mel
Melissa Mallory
Gregg Carroll
Gary Hill
Bill McKaig
Gary Jennings
Bruce McKaig
Ricky Anderson
Music by Mike Curb
Nick Venet
Cinematography Michael D. Murphy
Distributed by United Artists
Release date
Country United States
Language English

Skaterdater is a 1965 American short film. It was produced by Marshal Backlar, and written and directed by Noel Black and was the winner of the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film at the 1966 Cannes Film Festival.[1] It was also nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Short Subject category.[2] First prizes in international film festivals included Moscow and Venice.[citation needed]

The film tells a story with no dialogue. The group of boy skaters are suddenly at a point when one of the boys sees a young girl, and becomes interested in her. This causes a rift with a second boy, who challenges him to a skating duel that goes down a hilly street. The first boy loses; however, he gets the girl, and shortly, a few other girls are seen and become interested in the boys, too. The surf rock-esque soundtrack was composed by Mike Curb and Nick Venet with Davie Allan and the Arrows playing "Skaterdater Rock".[3]

It was the first film on skateboarding. It was distributed theatrically, both domestically and internationally, by United Artists. It was reviewed extensively by media outlets including Time Magazine.[4]

The skateboarders were members of the neighborhood Imperial Skateboard Club from Torrance, California. Their names are Gary Hill, Gregg Carroll, Mike Mel, Bill McKaig, Gary Jennings, Bruce McKaig and Rick Anderson. Melissa Mallory played the girl of the interest of one of the boy skaters. Most of the action shots were taken in Torrance, Redondo Beach, and Palos Verdes Estates. The final shot was Averill Park in San Pedro.

Skaterdater has had lasting cultural relevance in the film industry. It has been the subject of scholarly articles on cinematography,[5] and The Huffington Post recently included it in a list of 15 Films every entrepreneur must see.[6] David O'Russell award-winning director of Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and The Fighter, has credited Skaterdater as a reason for his initial interest in Film.

Skaterdater is currently up for nomination for the National Film Registry. The Library of Congress' National Film Preservation Board chooses 25 films for the registry each year to showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage and increase awareness for its preservation.[7][8] Many famous Skateboarders such as Tony Hawk and Andy Macdonald have also aided in the cause to help win Skaterdater formal recognition.

The Academy Film Archive preserved Skaterdater in 2010.[9]

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