EXCLUSIVE: Byron Allen’s Freestyle Digital Media has dropped the hammer on a deal for North American theatrical, digital and home entertainment distribution rights to Shifting Gears, Jason Winn’s feature starring R. Keith Harris and M.C. Gainey. It’s set for a March 23 day-and-date release

The family-friendly film centers on Tom (Harris, who also wrote the script), a hard-working manager at a big-box superstore who is passed up for a promotion.” Lamenting the time he devoted to work over family, Tom and his wife, Carol (Brooke Langton), decide to change course and start a family business. They move to a small town to take over a run-down garage bequeathed to them by Tom’s estranged father.

Freestyle Digital Media
Freestyle Digital Media

After sinking their savings into renovating the garage, they learn that title to the property has been contested and now must be sold at public auction, with arch nemesis Conrad Baines (John Ratzenberger) poised to take over the land. To avoid financial ruin, Tom and his teenage son (Adam Hicks) join forces with old-time racer “Dirty Harry” Hawkins (Gainey) and enter the Dirt Track Grand National.

“We wanted to make sure there were two major ingredients in this movie: authentic grassroots racing and a fun family story that pays tribute to the hard-working families that are the backbone of this country,” Winn said. “Shifting Gears is an action comedy with timeless themes about family struggles and the father/son dynamic that all ages can enjoy.”

Drew Matthews, M. Emmet Walsh and C. Thomas Howell co-star. Harris produces alongside Matthew R. Zboyovksi, with Lauren Moews Vilchik, Jeff Williams and Rob Johnston executive producing.

Shifting Gears is a warm, winning tale of the power of family in the face of adversity as well as a high-octane racing film, said Dan Fisher, VP Acquisitions at Freestyle Digital Media, a division of Byron Allen’s global media company, Entertainment Studios.