Jan 1, 1970 at 12:00 am
Roll Out, Cowboy: Screening and Live Performance
With Elizabeth Lawrence, Chris Sand, and Warner Boutin.
This is not the romanticized, Roy Rogers version of the American frontier. This is Sandman. The cowboy who raps.
“…Smartly assembled and insightful portrait. Roll Out, Cowboy is a documentary with both a beating heart and a brain, approaching the caliber of genre standouts like Spellbound.” – A.V. Club
Chris “Sandman” Sand is a rappin’ cowboy from Dunn Center, North Dakota (population: 120 and shrinking). He drives a semi, plays the guitar and raps. Sandman looks like Woody Guthrie but sings like LL Cool J. Roll Out, Cowboy follows the 39-year-old country/hip-hop musician as he tours the American West, performing for rural towns who might not have heard live hip-hop before. Sandman’s story is the struggle of an artist trying to make a buck. In a tough economy, can your American dream still carry a tune?
Roll Out, Cowboy follows Sandman as he travels the closed road from North Dakota, to Washington and back again. We watch Sand experience the highs and lows of touring as a modern day troubadour. We witness band break-ups, town groupies-even a brief flirtation with commercial truck-driving when a particularly impoverished Sand needs to make ends meet.
Roll Out, Cowboy marks Elizabeth Lawrence’s feature film directorial debut. Winner of six Best Documentary awards, Roll Out, Cowboy has screened at dozens of film festivals worldwide. Her previous roles include production manager and line producer. She’s assisted producers and directors on films such as The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Underworld Evolution, The Last Kiss and Tenderness. Lawrence has written and directed numerous short films, including the award-winning Nightmarecrawlers and Beyond the Gates of Ill-Repute. Elizabeth is currently a fellow in the Union Docs Collaborative documentary program. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.
A prolific songwriter, Chris “Sandman” Sand has produced fifteen musical recordings, including eight CDs. His music is fusion in the raw–country/ hip hop/ folk/ rap/ cowboy/ punk. Whatever you want to call it, it’s unique, fresh, sexy, and distinctly western.
The great-grandson of Montana and North Dakota pioneers, Sand grew up hearing cowboy poetry and country music. By his late teens, when he discovered hip hop culture, he had already begun to find his own voice through blending musical genres. Sandman has toured the country many times, sharing bills with acts ranging from Baby Gramps to the Microphones to Michael Franti to Dan Bern. Selling “Sandman” t-shirts and pillowcases (recycled items slapped with the Sandman brand), worn leather belts, and old cowboy shirts, Sand keeps his audiences entertained during the breaks as well as on stage. He stays in touch with fans and friends between tours through his blog journal.
Roll Out, Cowboy marks Warner Boutin’s first feature film producing credit. Excited to launch Roll Out Cowboy’s DVD, he can hardly believe 4 years have passed since he and Lawrence first started production in the middle of North Dakota. Boutin’s first parley into story telling was writing the morning news at KWTV News9, Oklahoma City’s CBS affiliate. Since then, he’s worked on film and commercial crews; as well as produce his own shorts. Currently Los Angeles based, Boutin continues developing documentary projects.
David Heilbroner, Harvard University (B.A. cum laude, 1979), Northeastern Law School (J.D. 1984), has been writing books and producing award-winning documentary films for more than twenty years. For HBO, he directed/produced the Emmy-winning Jockey (2004), Plastic Disasters(2006), The Adolescent Addict (2007), and Diagnosis: Bipolar (2008. For the History Channel wrote, co-directed and produced Scopes: Battle over America’s Soul (2006) for the Emmy-winning series “Ten Days that Unexpectedly Changed America.”For A & E Television Networks, he wrote, directed and produced many episodes of the Emmy-winning series Investigative Reports. Titles include “Untying the Straitjacket,” “Anti-Gay Hate Crimes,” and “The Dark Side of Parole.”
David worked as Senior Producer on Crime Stories, a series for Court TV, as well as on American Babylon (2003) a feature Court TV documentary which profiled the life of an African-American vice cop in Atlantic City, New Jersey. As an independent filmmaker, he co-directed and produced the feature documentary Pucker Up: the Fine Art of Whistling (2005) which won both the Audience Award and Award for Documentary Excellence at the Florida Film Festival, and played on television stations worldwide. He has just released Waiting for Armageddon (2009), a feature documentary exploring the dangerous influence of Christian Evangelical “end times” theology on US foreign policy. The film played as closing night in the New York Jewish Film Festival and will be released theatrically in the United States.