On Nov. 17th, OFF THE RAILS won the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC, America’s largest documentary festival. The next day, RAILS began its 4-week theatrical run at the Metrograph Theatre in New York, receiving stellar reviews including a New York Times Critics’ Pick. That weekend it was the 6th highest grossing movie in the country on a per screen average. RAILS received widespread acclaim, earning a perfect 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Likewise, it received fantastic press coverage with features in the New York Daily News, New York Post, Fox News, and NBC.
"An absolute must-see"− UNSEEN FILMS
"An assured and thoughtful debut"− NEW YORK TIMES
"An excellent documentary"− L.A. TIMES
"Unbelievably true"− INDIEWIRE
"Offbeat and enjoyable"− THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"Heart-rending"− HUFFINGTON POST
"100% Fresh"− ROTTEN TOMATOES
OFF THE RAILS tells the remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes.
As a boy in Queens, NY, Darius found sanctuary from school bullies in the subway. There he befriended transit workers who taught him to drive trains. By age 8, he memorized the entire subway system. At 15, he drove a packed train 8 stops by himself, making all the stops and announcements.
Over the next three decades, Darius commandeered hundreds of trains and buses, staying en route and on schedule, without ever getting paid. He attended transit worker union meetings, lobbying for better pay and working conditions for a union he didn’t belong to.
Although Darius has never damaged any property or hurt anyone in his decades of service, he has spent 23 years in maximum security prison. Darius’ recidivism embodies the criminal justice system’s failure to channel the passions of a harmless, mentally challenged man into a productive career and purposeful life.
THEATRICAL RELEASE *Now Playing*
NEW YORK • Metrograph Theatre
November 18 – December 14
SAN FRANCISCO • The Roxie
December 23 – 29
CHICAGO • Facets Cinémathèque
December 30 – January 5
FULL FRAME DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL • Durham, NC
SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL • Sarasota, FL
April 9 & 10
RIVERRUN FILM FESTIVAL • Winston-Salem, NC
April 10 & 11
NEWPORT BEACH FILM FESTIVAL • Newport Beach, CA
April 24 & 25 **WON BEST DOCUMENTARY**
HOT DOCS • Toronto, Canada
May 4 – 8
SAN FRANCISCO DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL • San Francisco, CA
June 12 & 14
PROVINCETOWN INT’L FILM FESTIVAL • Provincetown, MA
June 16 & 19 **WON SCHLESINGER AWARD**
INDIE STREET FILM FESTIVAL • Red Bank, NJ
OPEN ROOF FESTIVAL • Toronto, Canada
WOODS HOLE FILM FESTIVAL • Woods Hole, MA (Cape Cod)
August 1 **WON BEST DOCUMENTARY**
SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL • Birmingham, AL
DOC UTAH • St. George, UT
Sept 8 & 10 **WON BEST DOCUMENTARY**
RAINDANCE FILM FESTIVAL • London, UK
Sept 23 & 30
FOOTCANDLE FILM FESTIVAL • Hickory, NC
CHAGRIN DOCUMENTARY FILM FEST • Chagrin Falls, OH
October 6 & 7 **WON BEST SOCIAL AWARENESS DOCUMENTARY**
TORONTO • Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
October 7 – 30
TACOMA FILM FESTIVAL • Tacoma, WA
BUFFALO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL • Buffalo, NY
October 9 **WON SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – BEST DOCUMENTARY**
HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL • Hot Springs, AR
October 10 & 14
SANTA FE INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL • Santa Fe, NM
October 20 & 23 **WON SPECIAL JURY PRIZE – DOCUMENTARY FEATURE**
SAVANNAH FILM FESTIVAL • Savannah, GA
HEARTLAND FILM FESTIVAL • Indianapolis, IN
October 21 – 27
DENVER FILM FESTIVAL • Denver, CO
November 3 – 6
ST LOUIS FILM FESTIVAL • St Louis, MO
LOS ANGELES • Laemmle Music Hall
November 4 – 10
DOC NYC • New York, NY
November 12 **WON GRAND JURY PRIZE – METROPOLIS AWARD**
FAIRHOPE FILM FESTIVAL • Fairhope, AL
CALGARY UNDERGROUND DOC FEST • Calgary, Canada
LINCOLN, NEBRASKA • The Ross Center
December 2 – 8
** New York Times Critics’ Pick**
100% FRESH Score on RottenTomatoes.com
“An absolute must see… as high a recommendation as I can give” – Unseen Films
“[Director] Adam Irving’s first film is an assured and thoughtful debut” – New York Times
“A sharply funny human interest story that will be hard to forget…Imagine a feature-length version of an excellent, complex Humans of New York story” – Toronto Film Scene
“Offbeat and enjoyable” – The Hollywood Reporter
“An excelent documentary” – Los Angeles Times
“Beautifully photographed and expertly edited…a highly entertaining story that mixes thrills, comedy and drama” – Hammer to Nail
BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEE
Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards
JURY PRIZE, BEST DOCUMENTARY
Newport Beach Film Festival
JOHN SCHLESINGER AWARD for OUTSTANDING DIRECTING
Provincetown International Film Festival
JURY PRIZE, BEST DOCUMENTARY
Woods Hole Film Festival
JURY PRIZE, BEST DOCUMENTARY
DocUtah Film Festival
JURY PRIZE, BEST DIRECTING
DocUtah Film Festival
JURY PRIZE, BEST SOCIAL AWARENESS DOCUMENTARY
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, BEST DOCUMENTARY
Buffalo International Film Festival
SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
GRAND JURY PRIZE, METROPOLIS AWARD
DOC NYC Film Festival
Originally from Toronto, Adam dropped out of his PhD program in media studies at the University of Texas to work as a filmmaker in L.A. He began as a reality TV cameraman, then forayed into producing fundraising videos for non-profit organizations before embarking on his dream of making documentaries. Off the Rails is Adam’s first film. He holds an M.A. from NYU-Tisch and a B.A. from Brandeis University.
After three years as an assistant state prosecutor in New Jersey, Glen moved to L.A. to make movies. Through his production company Zipper Brothers Films, he produced Undefeated, which went on to win the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Glen also served as executive in charge of production on Martin Scorsese’s Emmy-winning George Harrison: Living in the Material World.
Tchavdar’s editing credits include HBO's two-time Emmy-nominated Valentine Road (Sundance), Finders Keepers (Sundance), We Live in Public (Sundance Grand Jury Prize) and Nat Geo's Emmy-nominated Alien Earths. He received an Emmy nomination for directing and producing The Desert of Forbidden Art (PBS). He has also produced for BBC, History Channel, MTV and USA Network.
STEVE GERNES & DUNCAN THUM
After graduating USC’s film scoring program, Steve and Duncan have worked on many projects together including the wildly popular Netflix series Chef’s Table and Body Slam: Revenge of the Banana! (Tribeca).
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Ahead of its theatrical release in Toronto, Los Angeles, and New York, OFF THE RAILS has picked up 3 more festival awards, upping its total to 9. The film won the Special Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Buffalo Int’l Film Festival, Best Social Awareness Documentary at the Chagrin Documentary Festival, and the Special Jury Prize for Documentary Feature at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. RAILS will screen October 7-30 at the Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto, Nov 4 -10 at Laemmle’s Music Hall in L.A., and Nov 18 – 24 at the Metrograph in New York.
OFF THE RAILS has been picked up for distribution and will have an Oscar-qualifying theatrical release in Toronto, NY and LA. Read the exciting announcement in The Hollywood Reporter. The Reporter also listed RAILS as an Academy Award contender for Best Documentary. Shortly after making this list, RAILS took home top honors at DocUtah, winning Best Directing and Best Documentary. SundanceNOW has acquired the film’s streaming/VOD rights, while The Film Collaborative is handling its theatrical release. Journeyman Pictures (UK) will handle foreign sales while Alexander Street Press will take educational sales. Passion River Films acquired the film’s DVD rights.
Roberts will play the role of Sally Butler, Darius’ attorney, in a feature film based on the life of Darius McCollum, the subject of OFF THE RAILS. Variety broke the news first followed by the Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire. An actor has yet to be cast to play McCollum, and no director is attached yet. Gotham Group is producing the courtroom drama with FilmNation financing it.
Tonight, NBC aired a major news story on Darius McCollum in his very first TV interview. Sarah Wallace of NBC 4’s investigative team interviewed Darius at Rikers Island where he is currently incarcerated. The segment featured several clips from OFF THE RAILS. NBC aired a second story on Darius later in the evening, going deeper into his case.
ABC 7 New York has posted an in-depth TV news report about Darius’ latest arrest. The segment features unused footage from OFF THE RAILS, including a Rikers Island jail interview from the summer of 2013. NBC 4, PIX 11, CBS 2, and NY1 also broadcast stories about Darius’ last arrest.