“Living the Warrior Code” is coming to theatres in a limited capacity this month, not just in Sylvan Lake but across the province.
The documentary about Scott McDermott’s return to the Ultraman race in Hawaii after a life-threatening crash has been making its rounds in the festival circuit after its world premiere in Sylvan Lake last year.
However, the movie hit a wall with the onset of the ongoing global pandemic, which halted many film festivals. That coupled with the lack of universal music rights, made the team behind the documentary look for new avenues to show the film.
McDermott said when movie theatre reopened he was disappointed to see nothing but old films being shown, which started the idea of showing “Living the Warrior Code” in theatres.
“[My producer] and I came up with the idea almost at the same time,” McDermott said. “He reached out to some independent theatres and I reached out to Landmark, because I had the connection from when I rented the theatre last year for the world premiere.”
He said the theatres “jumped” at the chance to show a new movie, and bring in a bit of a crowd.
The film will be showing at 14 theatres in August for free, though donations will be accepted. All donations from the showings will be put towards unlocking universal music rights for the film.
With music rights, McDermott said he can begin talks with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
“The music we used are from [small, mostly unknown artists] really, they aren’t big hits… We looked at switching the music to royalty free, but Drew [Kenworthy] spent a long time matching the music with what was happening, that it just didn’t make sense,” McDermott said.
McDermott says he is hoping to raise $6,000 through the screenings to unlock the music rights.
The screenings themselves will also go a long way to helping the film move onto streaming services, according to McDermott.
By having the film shown, and potentially “selling out” during COVID-19, with strict restrictions in place, he says it will show that people do actually want to see this documentary.
“That’s the ultimate goal, to have it on a video on demand service or Netflix, because that way we can reach that many more people. We can inspire that many more people.”
McDermott says he wants people to feel inspired after watching the film, to see that anything is possible when you try and have a support system in place.
“I was told I would never race again. I was told I would never be able to swim again, that I should have been in a vegetative state. But, I finished the race in 2018. I finished in the top 25 in the world, that’s pretty good to me,” he said.
“Living the Warrior Code” is playing in 14 theatres in August, with the potential for a few more in September.
The film will be shown twice in Sylvan Lake, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Landmark Theatre.
The documentary will also be in Leduc on Aug. 8 and Aug.9 and in Wetaskiwin on Aug. 9.
McDermott will be at every showing of the film, to give a brief introduction to the movie beforehand, and a short question and answer period afterwards.
More information about the documentary and showtimes can be found at www.warriorcodefilm.com