Roll With Me
1 x 90'
Director Lisa France
A Journey Across America
After hitting rock-bottom, a newly sober paraplegic (Gabriel Cordell) attempts to save his gangbanger nephew’s life by bringing him along on a 3,100-mile wheelchair trek across the United States.
Winner - Carpe Diem Award - Woodstock Film Festival
Runner Up - Audience Award - Woodstock Film Festival
Nominate - Best Documentary - Woodstock Film Festival
Nominated - Best Editing - Woodstock Film Festival
Set amidst 3,100 miles of open road and small towns, ROLL WITH ME chronicles recovering addict and paraplegic Gabriel Cordell's momentous journey to become the first person to roll an unmodified wheelchair across America. Directed by Lisa France, the documentary bands together a crew of unlikely co-conspirators, each battling their own issues. Meaningful and motivating, ROLL WITH ME shares intimate narratives of PTSC, 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 along the way Cordell's exploration of endurance establishes ties that speak to our common humanity.
Gabe was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1970 and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1976. Two months after his 22nd birthday, he was en route to his first professional acting audition when his car hit a telephone pole that crushed his spinal cord, leaving him paralysed from his mid-chest down.
Undeterred, he continued to pursue an acting career as a paraplegic with credits including Dexter, Numb3rs and Joan of Arcadia. At the age of 42, Gabe focused on a different kind of role. He set out to become the first person to roll across the US in a standard, unmodified wheelchair - a 3,100 mile journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
Gabe has made it his life's purpose to inspire and empower people all over the world, by showing through his actions that anything is possible.
Lisa transitioned from pro basketball into film and television as a stunt performer, working on Spike Lee's HE GOT GAME and HBO's THE SOPRANOS. She has written and directed three narrative features and ROLL WITH ME is her first documentary.
Lisa captured Gabe's journey while riding a bike alongside him, emerging herself in the challenge under extreme conditions, both physical and mental.
Lisa has an impressive list of accolades including more than 30 film festival awards and nominations, including two independent Spirit Award nominations.
"This film about will, fortitude and the human condition stays with you for awhile, prodding you to finally do whatever it is you've wanted to do for some time. The filmmaker and subjects don't ask you to take charge, but you can't help it. And they show how the benevolence of others can shape your journey.”
Allison Dunne from NPR's "51%"
"Millions of people should see this film."
Meira Blaustein, the founder of The Woodstock Film Festival
"In what could have become a monotonous series of scenes based mainly on the physical strain, the filmmaker found ways to keep giving the viewer new reasons to remain engaged. That variety — variety that is genuine, emotional and appeals to us in different ways — isn’t easy to achieve."
Joe Fab - Emmy Nominated Filmmaker