Skate Clips

A Documentary About Local Olympic Skateboarder Jake Ilardi Is Coming Out This Year

Ilardi's twin brother is filming a documentary about Jake's illustrious skateboarding career.

By Kim Doleatto February 8, 2022

Pro skateboarder Jake Ilardi (left) and documentrary filmmaker Nate Ilardi (right), with their grandmother, Paulette Moulton.

Pro skateboarder Jake Ilardi (left) and documentrary filmmaker Nate Ilardi (right), with their grandmother, Paulette Moulton.

Sarasota's Jake Ilardi made history when he represented the U.S. at the summer Olympic games in Tokyo last year as part of the country's first-ever skateboarding team. That history is coming to a screen near you. His twin brother, Nate, is in the middle of filming a documentary, Into the Spotlightthat tells Jake's story.

The movie captures the beginning, rise and both literal and metaphorical falls of Jake's career on his way to becoming an Olympian. It also looks at how Jake championed a safe, functional skate park, known as Payne Park Skate Park, that the Sarasota community could use for free, in a place where many outdoor city benches and fountains are studded to prevent skateboarders from riding on them.

Filming Into the Spotlight is now complete and in the post-production phase. It's slated to be released before the end of the year and will be available on streaming services.

Jake and Nate, 24, have been inseparable since birth. The main difference between the twins is that they excel at using different tools. Jake’s is a skateboard; Nathan’s is a camera.

It started when they were 4. Paulette Moulton, the grandmother who raised them, bought them skateboards they used nonstop on a halfpipe in the yard. When the boys were 8, Nate asked for a camera for Christmas. Moulton gifted him a starter camera from Target that he used to film Jake in action.

Over the years, they both honed their skills. Jake went pro as a skateboarder, while Nate opened a production company called Ilardi Media at 18. He’s since done film production and videography for the Women's National Basketball Association, the United States Soccer Federation, IMG Academy and ESPN. Nate and his childhood friend Liam Jordan are now working on the skateboarding story. At 90 minutes, it’s Nate’s first long-form documentary.

“Everything happens on the fly and you have to capture it at the same time,” says Nate. “It’s like a paintbrush. I use it that way. It was just me and my producer Liam doing everything. A lot of times I was by myself. We didn't have five cameras and an audio guy. But we made it happen.”

Jake is still a presence at Payne Park. The now-renowned skateboarder still fixes the ramps, thanks to a partnership with the City of Sarasota, so that future skateboarders have a place to flourish and have fun. 

"[Jake is] a nice guy to be around," says 16-year-old Taj Kurvin, a skateboard fanatic you’ll often find at Payne Park. "He taught me some tips and was super genuine. He wasn't jock-y. He was just at Payne as a friend. If anyone were to come up to him, he would be super open and try to help. We still see him once a month, at least."

While Jake didn't take home a medal last year, he helped put Sarasota on the map and skateboarding in the history books—and now, thanks to his brother, on film.

Sign up here to receive updates about the documentary and more.

Show Comments