25 Hill (feature)
25 Hill is a family film about a boy who suffers the tragedy of is father being killed in war, but turns his grief into a the extraordinary goal to realize his father's idea of winning the soap box derby together. To do this he recruits the help of a former derby winner, now a broken down firefighter who also suffers the grief of a lost son.
The production based on an article in USA today about the potential failure of the All-American Soap Box Derby, and the hero of the story raises a campaign to save the derby from bankruptcy. The film was shot over a summer in Akron, OH and Taft CA. The production was featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal because the film itself was also attempting to save the derby, and the film raised enough money to do so temporarily.
Among the many inspirations, the cinematography was influenced by Conrad Hall's lighting and lensing of Searching for Bobby Fisher. The racing sequences, which were shot during the actual derby championships, took cues from the Steve McQueen racing movie Le Mans, which was shot during the actual 24 hour La Mans race.