EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to director Ben Masters’ documentary feature The River and The Wall ahead of its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival this March. The film, which follows five friends on a 1,200 mile journey along the US-Mexico border from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico, will hit theaters this spring.
“When we started filming The River and The Wall two years ago when the ‘build that wall’ rhetoric just began,” said Masters, “we had no idea that the issue would blow up into a government shutdown and one of the most controversial topics in the world. We’ve spent the past two years documenting the border, travelled every mile of the Texas-Mexico border on bikes, horses, and canoes, and met with dozens of people on both sides of the Rio Grande to make a film that shows what the borderlands actually look like, how a wall would actually work, and how it would impact immigration, landowners, water access, wildlife, and border culture.”
Gravitas plans a major U.S. theatrical release to over 100 theaters nationwide starting later Spring 2019. The company previously released Masters’ Unbranded doc about four young cowboys determined to move wild mustangs across 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada.
The River and The Wall is produced by Hillary Pierce (Tower). The acquisition was announced today by Gravitas, a Red Arrow Studios company.
“Gravitas is thrilled to be collaborating with Ben Masters and his team on The River and the Wall,” said Brendan M. Gallagher, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Gravitas Ventures. “The film is visually stunning and provides much-needed human, practical, and environment perspectives on the divisive border wall issue that has shut down our government and polarized the country.”
Added Masters, “We interviewed border patrol agents, immigrants, ranchers, wildlife biologists, Republican congressman, Democrat congressmen, Mexicans, and Americans to hopefully give an accurate portrayal of the border and let the audience decide for themselves if a physical border Wall is a good way to approach our immigration and border security challenges. At a time when there’s so much division, ignorance, and false reporting about the border, I’m excited to release the film and allow the incredible landscapes and people there to speak for themselves.”
The film includes interviews with former Democratic Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and Republican Texas Congressman Will Hurd.