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 DocClub 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.
"Offbeat and enjoyable"− THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"Unbelievably true"− INDIEWIRE
"An absolute must-see"− UNSEEN FILMS
"A fascinating story"− DURHAM HERALD-SUN
"Heart-rending"− HUFFINGTON POST
"Sharply funny"− TORONTO FILM SCENE
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.
Available for purchase/streaming in 2017
LOS ANGELES • Laemmle Music Hall
November 4 – 10
NEW YORK • Metrograph Theatre
November 18 – 24
TORONTO • Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
October 7 – 30
UPCOMING FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
HEARTLAND FILM FESTIVAL • Indianapolis, IN
October 21 – 23 & 27
DENVER FILM FESTIVAL • Denver, CO
November 3 – 6
ST LOUIS FILM FESTIVAL • St Louis, MO
FAIRHOPE FILM FESTIVAL • Fairhope, AL
Many more to come – please check back for updates!
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**
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
SAVANNAH FILM FESTIVAL • Savannah, GA
“An absolute must see… as high a recommendation as I can give” – Unseen Films
“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
“A fascinating story told with heart” – The Durham Herald-Sun
“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
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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Beating out more than 60 documentary films in competition at the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival, OFF THE RAILS won the festival’s jury prize for Best Documentary. The L.A. Times announced the winners.
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 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.
Today, the Associated Press published a story on Darius McCollum, the subject of OFF THE RAILS. The article quoted the film’s director Adam Irving, who explained what drew him to Darius: “If there’s one thing that really drew me in, it is his sacrifice…I don’t know anyone that would give up 20 years in prison to do something that most New Yorkers would find extremely mundane. Collecting a subway fare? Driving a bus route?” The story (by Colleen Long) was picked up by dozens of news outlets around the world including NBC and the Guardian.