After 70 years of playing hard, both on the water and off, the Min-Aqua Bat Waterski Club is letting cameras into the clubhouse…
Started in 1950 by a group of teenagers that noticed their Sunday afternoon ski sessions were drawing a crowd, the Min-Aqua Bats is the longest continually running water ski show in the world. Run entirely by its members, ages approximately 13-24, the lack of parental oversight is one of the many unique characteristics of the club, and arguably a central factor in its longevity. The skiers, a mix of locals and summer residents, perform three days a week, rain or shine, from June until August, for crowds that can number into the thousands. Juggling performances, summer jobs, and the all-consuming task of growing up, the Min-Aqua Bats have remained surprisingly unchanged throughout their 70-year history, playing hard, both on the water and off.
Supper Clubs, summer camps, Friday Night Fish Fry and a whole lotta lakes.
Set amid the towering pines and crystal-clear lakes of the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Minocqua has been known throughout the Midwest as a vacation destination since the late 1800’s. After coming close to selling its soul to the logging barons of the late 19th and early 20th century, Minocqua doubled down on it’s tourism industry, replanting the clear cuts and ushering in the resort boom of the 1940s and ‘50s. Many of these resorts have since been turned into summer homes, handed down from generation to generation. Minocqua’s single-stoplight downtown still retains a Norman Rockwell-esque vibe, and in summer, when the population swells ten-fold, tourists flood the town, hitting the local bars, shops and supper clubs, before following the smell of popcorn and the roar of the motors to the ski show.
A quirky, coming of age, nostalgic Americana sports documentary.
The first of it's kind? Shot primarily in an observational, cinema verite style, the film follows the 2019 Min-Aqua Bats through their 70th summer, both on the water and off. Highlighted events include opening the clubhouse for the season, the Fourth of July Show, the Alumni Show, Try-Outs, post-show parties and the end of the year Banquet. Drawing on dozens of hours of archival footage, images and contemporary interviews with past members, the history of the club will be woven throughout the film, telling a larger story of small town America, class and growing up.