One man is traveling through Connecticut to peddle his independent film on pedal power.
William Roulston is biking through Connecticut this summer and fall from his home in Stamford, with his journey taking him to Eastford, Chaplin and Hampton in September with more local stops possible.
But this is no ordinary bike ride.
Roulston is also bringing with him 200 pounds of film equipment: projector, screen and sound system, hauled behind him on a bicycle trailer.
Calling it “the greenest movie tour ever,” Roulston’s goal is to screen the movie he wrote and produced.
“DreamRiders” is actually a documentary of his own experiences as a divorced father while embarking on a cross-country bike ride with his teenaged son, Nicolas, to rebuild their relationship – even though neither had been on an overnight bike ride before.
The documentary was aired on the Travel Channel on Father’s Day and made the film festival circuit, winning “Best Documentary” at the New Strand Film Festival.
A Facebook page devoted to the film has brought the family more fans and the soundtrack is available through iTunes.
Roulston, though, still wanted a theatrical release.
As an independent, first-time filmmaker, he didn’t exactly have a production studio budget behind him, so he went another route.
He is biking his film across Connecticut, bringing it to local town halls, church fellowship halls, fire department banquet rooms and granges.
Roulston wanted to bring it to non-traditional venues to better connect with the audiences.
The money raised by screening it at local halls will help the Roulstons organize a wider theater release.
“We have a pretty unique film and we wanted to do something unique to get people to see it,” Roulston said. “We don’t have millions of dollars to advertise, but we do have a compelling film with raving fans. Cycling from town to town will enable us to talk to people about it along the way and create a very special event in places where films and their producers are not often seen in the same room.
“I’m very fortunate to have found a really good story to tell. I’m grateful to see the impact it’s having on people.”
Nicolas Roulston said people respond positively to the film because it mirrors their own struggles. “It’s such an honest account of the human experience,” he said.
“We can all relate to someone taking big chances to achieve their dreams and all the triumphs and tragedies they face in trying to overcome the barriers that keep people separated.
“Every family has strain on their relationships, especially during the teenage years. But there’s a lot of humor in the film, because men just aren’t very smooth at dealing with relationships. It’s pretty funny, looking at it from this vantage point. It wasn’t so funny at the time.”
Coming to Eastford Sept. 18
The Tour de Connecticut, as the Roulstons call it, began in Sherman on Aug. 17 and is scheduled to end in Ridgefield on Sept. 30.
The Roulstons hope to stop at several towns in eastern Connecticut, but have not yet confirmed dates and locations for many municipalities.
Confirmed stops include Eastford’s Camp Nahaco Sept. 18; Hampton’s Community Center Sept. 19; Chaplin’s Fire Station Sept. 20; and Bozrah’s Fire Station Sept. 27.
Ticket prices and times are yet to be determined.
The Roulstons hope residents or town officials will contact them will possible venues for Andover, Franklin, Pomfret, Scotland, Sprague, Stafford, Union, Voluntown and Woodstock.
To carry out the environmental theme of biking the film across the state, William Roulston will offer a free movie ticket to anyone who joins him in biking from one town to the next. And he will offer discounted tickets to anyone who bikes to the movie from their home.
For more information on the film, the schedule, or to offer a venue to screen the film, visit the Roulstons’ web site at www.dreamridersmovie.com.