The U.S. team of Red Bull Media House is making its first feature to be written, produced, directed and edited in-house. “Blood Road” is set to star ultra-endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch, who takes a journey along the 1,800 kilometre Ho Chi Minh trail through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Pic is scheduled for a 2017 release.
The feature-length film, being sold at Cannes by RBMH, is billed as an “epic demonstration of human potential,” with the trail sometimes degenerating into a dirt track though jungle. But the journey is as much an emotional one too, as Rusch’s goal is to reach the recently-discovered crash site where her father’s plane was shot down during the Vietnam War, killing her father.
RBMH “set out to document an epic cycling expedition as well as Rebecca’s personal journey to visit the crash site, but we ended up uncovering something much deeper,” said director Nicholas Schrunk. “It’s a story about the scars, both physical and emotional, that war leaves on families, countries, and cultures, and how they still exist today.”
“Rebecca lost her dad, who went missing in action, when she was three years old,” said Philipp Manderla, RBMH head of feature films. “She went on to become one of the most successful endurance mountain bikers. At a mature stage of her career, she decided to go on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the hopes of confronting the loss of the father she never really knew.”
“The exciting thing is we seem to be coming across more and more backstory lately in films, but ‘Blood Road’ is certainly one that takes a very personal approach to that documentary, “ he added.
Story and production value, and their combination, mean RBMH may see ‘Blood Road’ as a theatrical feature. The theatrical market for extreme/outdoor sports movies varies sharply title-to-title.
Released October, “The Fourth Phase,” the spectacular Travis Rice snowboard adventure, will have a large alternative content release of up to 250 screens in Germany, Manderla said. It will also see “a few classical releases” in a handful of other European territories. “The U.S. release will focus on screening events, with a day and date transactional release across multiple platforms,” he added.