It’s 1996 in inner city Los Angeles and only three public skate parks exist in the entire country. This is a time where smartphones weren’t everywhere, and where the Internet was only a shell of what it is now.
City youths were left running wild, ripe for misdirection, and often turned to wicked vices – drugs, crime, violence – to satisfy the burdens of a system that undermined, rather than encouraged them.
And now, in present-day LA, seven teens growing up in a socio-cultural warzone battle to defy the odds through their one uniting passion: skateboarding.
Indie director Matthew Jones follows this skate crew in his documentary ExtraOrdinary, which is set to feature at the annual Byron Bay International Film Festival.
We’re given an insight into each kid’s struggle as reflected through a city in the grips of a social crisis. Here, teens are forced to face the cultural barriers that lead them down some rather corrupt paths to adulthood.
And then comes Heidi Lemmon: a staunch social activist, a feminist and a mother to more than just her own. She becomes an unlikely mentor to the crew as she embarks on a mission to have local skate parks built for thousands of kids across America.
Her passion for youth came about when her own son was arrested for skating, and ever since she’s been determined to lead more kids down stable life paths.
From what seems an unlikely combination of skateboarding and social activism comes an intensely inspiring documentary. The setting for their struggles may be foreign, but the message is universal.
This is the story of how Heidi came to help young skaters, how they helped her, and how they made a difference for thousands of kids across the country.