The Duchess of Speed
Directed by Tiziano Niero
Documentary | 11 minutes | USA | 2019 | English | SPECIAL SCREENING
The father who gets his son interested in cars is a storyline heard often. It’s less often that we come across a young woman who races motorcycles. After hanging off the side of her father’s 1968 BMW sidecar shortly after getting her license, Marja Elisat began racing motorcycles. And though she enjoys life as a student, she is often busy on the weekends at the race track or to be found at home working on the family’s collection of vintage bikes, like her father's 1969 single-cylinder 350cc Ducati she now races.
Before she started racing, Marja’s reason for riding motorcycles was simply as a way to commute from her village to the nearest town centre. With a love for speed that carried over from horseback riding and a father very happy to help, it wasn’t long before that mindset expanded.
After taking some riding lessons, Stephan brought his daughter to the race track for some on-track training. Marja took to it quickly and progressed to the point where people encouraged her to think about racing. She now competes with her dad’s old Ducati in the German Historic Championship and the Klassik Trophy.
Tiziano was born in Italy but studied and lived in London for many years before moving to Los Angeles in 2012. In between, he traveled and filmed around the globe, from walking through the desolate streets of Pripyat, inside the Chernobyl exclusion zone to kissing a wild leopard in Namibia and filming a classic car race from Beijing, China to Paris, France. He often collaborates with Petrolicious as chief video editor and series filmmaker and with Donut Media. He lives in West Hollywood with his three cats and four motorcycles.