EXCLUSIVE: Array Releasing and ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay announced Wednesday that they have acquired the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand rights to the Lisa France documentary Roll With Me. Marking her docu debut, the film will premiere December 1 on Netflix and will be accompanied by a national screening tour to coincide with the International Day of Persons with Disabilities which is recognized on December 3.
The film, which was an official selection at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, chronicles recovering addict and paraplegic Gabriel Cordell’s momentous journey to become the first person to roll an unmodified wheelchair across America. France puts the spotlight on Cordell’s warrior spirit as he rides his bike on a world record-breaking expedition that spans 3,100 miles of open roads and small towns.
Roll With Me tells a motivating story and folds in intimate narratives of PTSD, homelessness, unemployment, family estrangement and sobriety struggles. The film begins as a challenge to push an unmodified wheelchair from California to Cordell’s hometown of West Hempstead, New York, but as the film unfolds, we see Cordell’s exploration of endurance establish ties that speak to our common humanity.
“Through her film, director Lisa France provides an important entry into the journey of recovery. Witnessing Gabriel’s triumph over adversity and low expectations allows for a vital dialogue about what people with disabilities can achieve,” explained ARRAY’s Vice President Tilane Jones. “We are extremely proud to share this project’s uplifting and universal message about the power of human will with an international audience.”
The deal was negotiated by Gordon Bobb of Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano on behalf of Array as well David P. Markman of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and producer Sharon Swart for the filmmaker.