Soon after the invention of cars, there was racing, and soon after that, kids' races. In 1914 there was even the Charlie Chaplin-starring film called Kid Audio Races at Venice, where the icon played a spectator interfering with the little racers. By the '50s the Soap Box Derby ruled the roost -- so strongly that even Chevy was a sponsor. But now there are electronic gadgets, video games, and busyness standing between the tykes and the Derby, and Corbin Bernsen (LA Law, Psych) wants to change that.

The Hollywood Reporter posts that the actor/filmmaker wants to help save the old derby league and help fight its $600,000+ debts. He's written a family film called 25 Hill, which will be set in Akron, Ohio, a town that used to be called "Rubber City." The story focuses on a 11-year-old kid (Nathan Gamble, The Dark Knight) who wants to race in the derby, but finds his dreams dashed when his father is killed in Afghanistan. But hope is not lost -- he finds a father figure (Bernsen) in a man who lost his firefighter son in the line of duty, and "the two help each other find redemption and revive the derby."

Bernsen says: "You know those actors you hear about and you go, 'Is he still alive?' That's what the derby is. The idea is to show that the derby is alive and well. This is not a nostalgic period movie." With a budget of only $500,000, the project has become a community effort, but will it all be enough to save the Soap Box Derby?
categories Cinematical