Earlier this year, director Clay Tweel signed with national commercial production company Community Films. This summer sees the theatrical release of his inspirational documentary Gleason about former NFL player Steve Gleason and his familys struggle with his diagnosis of ALS. The film made its overwhelmingly successful debut at the Sundance Film Festival 2016 with U.S. rights purchased by Amazon Studios and Open Road Films just days after the festival. The film opens nationwide in theaters this summer and will be streamed this fall on Amazon.com. Tweel is also the Co-Director of Finders Keepers, which was co-produced by Community Films with fellow Community director Seth Gordon serving as producer.
“Working on a project like Gleason was an amazingly moving experience,” said Tweel. “As a director, it was an unmatched opportunity. There were countless hours of Steve Gleason and his wife Michel in intimate, poignant moments overcoming the challenges of ALS. The key was to balance multiple threads of humor, empathy and some almost overwhelming drama. And in the process find the portrait of a human being who when faced with the ultimate test of his character rose to the challenge. These are the kinds of stories you want to be involved with as a filmmaker — stories that move people and get them to understand what it truly means to be alive.”
“Steve and Michel’s story is powerful,” noted Community Films executive producer/partner Lizzie Schwartz. ”But that doesn’t mean it is an easy one to tell. Clay was able to take thousands of hours of footage and from that tease out a deeply moving story that gives you the viewer an insight into what it is to rise to a challenge like ALS. And do so in a way that you can’t take your eyes off the screen.”
“Clay really demonstrates the power of documentary filmmaking,” concluded Community Films executive producer/partner Carl Swan. ”To move an audience to the point where you can’t help but feel changed for the better by the end.”
In March, Tweel joined a roster of directorial talent at Community Films, which includes directors Marius Crowne, Seth Gordon, Jared Hess, Michael Patrick Jann, Emil Möller, Matt Smukler, Pam Thomas, and Clay Williams.
A native Virginian living in L.A., Clay Tweel made his directorial debut on the documentary Make Believe, chronicling six teenagers battling to become the worlds best teen magician, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the LA Film Fest in 2010 and is currently running on Showtime Networks. Clays next film, Print the Legend, premiered at SXSW and was awarded the Special Jury Recognition for Storytelling and Editing. The film was bought by Netflix Originals and premiered in theaters and online in late 2014. His next film, Finders Keepers, premiered at Sundance 2015 to rave reviews and was bought by the Orchard. Clay was back at Sundance again this year with the film Gleason. He is currently developing numerous projects in both the scripted and documentary worlds.
To view trailer to Gleason, go here: https://gleasonmovie.com
To view Clays reel: http://www.communityfilms.com/directors/clay-tweel/commercials/