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March 24, 2014 | posted in Filmmakers
Ricardo Villareal’s documentary, “Ride with Larry,” tells the story of Larry Smith, a man battling Parkinson’s disease, and his desire to live as full a life as possible.
“Powerful stories of courage, of hope, and of love, and those that contribute to humanizing societies, are important to make and to share with the world,” says Villareal.
The co-director and producer met Smith about ten years ago through one of his fellow producers.
“Larry mentioned that he wanted to ride his bike across the United States,” says Villareal. “[He hoped] to promote the benefits of exercising with Parkinson’s and inspire others to live life to the fullest.”
But when they met again in 2010, Larry’s disease had developed so much that he could not longer conquer that feat.
“It was clear the distance was not really the most important thing in his story,” says Villareal, “but his powerful message and incredible spirit to live.”
Villareal decided to go ahead with the filming because he believes Larry’s story is a necessary one to share with the world. “You learn that real heroes are often found in ordinary people,” he says.
“Ride with Larry” is sure to inspire and captivate CIFF audiences. Villareal says the subject matter is powerful and relatable.
“Everyone in the production team has Parkinson’s in their families,” says Villareal, “and we wanted to do something that served as a tribute to those we love and those who suffer this incurable condition.”
And the film directly connects to Cleveland. Dr. Jay Alberts from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation does research on cycling and Parkinson’s.
“[Dr. Alberts] shares some incredible revelations of his studies,” Villareal says.
Villareal is excited to bring his feature film “Ride with Larry” to CIFF audiences. This moving tale of a man defeating his odds and confronting this horrible disease “will truly change the way you see life.”
— Molly Drake
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