Remake of Breaking Away with a female cast
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In 1951, the Little 500 was created to raise money for student scholarships. Over the years, it gained incredible popularity. In 1979, 20th Century Fox released Breaking Away, a fictional movie based off the Little 500 bicycle race at Indiana University. The movie was a smashing success at the box offices and received an Oscar for best screenplay. The movie raised country-wide awareness for the bike race that now brings in more than 25,000 fans to Bloomington, Indiana every year. In 1988, a women's race was created after more than a year of hard work and petitioning by female cyclists at the university. Currently, the women's field receives much less attention than the men's and the attendance at the women's race is historically much lower than at the men's race. (Note: Little 500 ticket are $35 and give you admission into both races, despite this, many people only attend the men's race.) A remake of Breaking Away, based on the women’s race, could have a great impact on the publicity of female cycling.
I believe that making this movie could do these 2 things:
1. Increase awareness of the women's race, which would lead to increased revenue. This would happen because it would:
- Increase attendance at the women's race
- Increase interest in joining a women's team or volunteering at the race
Both of these outcomes would lead to increased revenue that will assist student with academic scholarships. With more students involved, more spectators will attend the race.
2. Weaken the current sexism in Little 500 and female sports. As a female Little 500 rider, I have faced sexism; on many occasions people have directly told me that the women's race is less important than the men's. A movie based on the women’s race would help break this dominant opinion.
While it is impossible to eradicate sexism overnight, I believe that if 20th Century Fox (or a different movie distributor) picks up this idea and remakes Breaking Away with a female cast, a major stride will be made toward equality.
Edit: Breaking Away is about a fictional movie about college aged adults in Bloomington who do not attend Indiana University. They are invited to participated in the Little 500 and call themselves “the Cutters” as many of them are limestone cutters. (Note: to participate in Little 500 you have to be a student, see 2020 Little 500 Handbook for full list of requirements. While the Cutters are a team today, they are all IU students. Additionally, the team was formed after the movie).
The movie I propose does not have to be about a fictional Female “Cutters” team.
In 1987 a group of female students in Kappa Alpha Theta attempted to qualify for the men’s race. At the time the women’s equivalent of Little 5 was a very short tricycle race.
A movie following the actions taken by women in 1987 and 1988 could follow the basic premise of the original movie: outsiders (this time women instead of Bloomington locals) that become passionate about the Little 500.
An additional note from the writer:
For the past year I have been a witness to the blatant sexism surrounding Little 500. People (including current and former riders as well as Indiana University grads) have told me that the men’s race is the “real race” or is “more important.” The notion of women being less important than men (in the Little 500 as well as life) is not something that I can witness without taking action.
I believe that campaigning for this movie will bring awareness to the issue at hand and start the difficult conversations that need to take place.
The goals I have are to increase female involvement in the race, increase attendance at the women’s race, and chip away at the sexist beliefs that are so prevalent in Little 500 (and life).
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