Roadside Attractions Acquires Health Care Documentary 'Escape Fire'

Escape Fire

U.S. Documentary Competition

The film, directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, will be released Oct. 5, a month before the presidential election.

Roadside Attractions has acquired all U.S. rights to Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke’s Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, a documentary about the healthcare system. The indie distributor plans to release the film theatrically Oct. 5 to coincide with the presidential campaign that is sure to involve the healthcare debate.

The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and went on to play the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, where it won the Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights, and the Newport Beach Film Festival, where it took the awards for outstanding documentary and outstanding director achievement.

“Before I saw Escape Fire, I thought the problems surrounding healthcare were unsolvable, but the film shows that we have the power to fix this,” Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen said. “The upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the federal mandate to buy health insurance guarantees that the healthcare debate will be re-ignited and inserted into the 2012 election in a big way, and this important film offers solutions that need to be part of that dialogue.”

While Roadside will handle the film’s theatrical release, Lionsgate has all other rights under its output deal with Roadside.

The deal was negotiated by Cohen and, representing the filmmakers, CAA and Jerry L. Dasti of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo.