Our Time Projects was founded in 2009 by Matthew Heineman, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker based in New York. He previously directed and produced a feature-length documentary ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. It premiered at Sundance 2012, won numerous awards at festivals across the country, and was released by Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate to critical praise in October 2012. The film premiered on CNN in March 2013, with more than 2 million people tuning in for the network’s primetime broadcast, and was recently nominated for an Emmy.
Heineman previously collaborated for two years with a team at HBO on the groundbreaking, Emmy-nominated HBO series, The Alzheimer's Project, which aired in May 2009. He also directed and produced Our Time—a feature length documentary about what it's like to be young in today's America. Heineman has directed a number of short films and commercials and is currently developing a number of projects. His most recent film CARTEL LAND will be premiering in competition at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
When your government cannot provide basic safety from murderous organized criminals, is it acceptable to take the law into your own hands to protect your family, your land, and your country? That is the question at the heart of Cartel Land, a powerfully visceral journey of two modern-day vigilante movements.
In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” shepherds a citizen uprising against the Knights Templar, the violent drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley—a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley—Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to halt Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.
Intrepid filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. Brilliant, dangerous, and provocative, Cartel Land is a chilling meditation on the breakdown of order and the borderline where life trumps law.
“A must-see! ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ for the healthcare debate.”
– Anthony Kaufman, The Village Voice
“Turns an unwieldy, Medusa-headed topic into a convincingly humane argument for change...This hard-hitting film leaves us finally more hopeful than despairing.”
– Jeannette Catsoulis, NY Times Critic's Pick
“Cogent, convincing, determinedly non-ideological, ESCAPE FIRE tells us that everything we think we know about that incendiary topic might be wrong.”
– Kenneth Turan, LA Times
ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? ESCAPE FIRE examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. The film follows dramatic human stories and leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out. It's about saving the health of a nation.
ESCAPE FIRE was released by Roadside Attractions (THE COVE, SUPERSIZE ME) in select theaters on October 5th, 2012. Lionsgate simultaneously released the film on iTunes and VOD. For more information, visit: EscapeFireMovie.com
SUNDANCE: Grand Jury Prize (Nominated); Candescent Award Given to One Outstanding Socially Conscious
FULL FRAME: Human Rights Award (Winner)
SILVERDOCS: Social Issue Award (Winner)
NEWPORT BEACH: Outstanding Achievement in Directing (Winner); Outstanding Achievement in Documentary
HEARTLAND: Truly Moving Picture’s Crystal Heart Award (Winner)
‘A revealing documentary on America’s youth’ – The New York Times, Freakonomics Blog
‘It will challenge your stereotypes of Millenials’ – Fast Company Magazine
America has questions about today’s youth, what we care about, and where we’re headed. We had those questions too. So, after graduating college, four of us loaded an RV and embarked on a journey looking for answers. We traveled to all of the lower 48 states, talking to our peers about growing up, 9/11, race, the Internet, careers, sex, love, and the American Dream. Along the way, we met a wide cross-section of young Americans, ranging from a cancer researcher in Boston to a drug dealer in New Mexico, from an Iraq veteran in Florida to the founder of Facebook in Silicon Valley. The film ultimately leads to the historic 2008 election, where our generation finally stands up to make its voice heard. OUR TIME is a passionate portrayal of a generation, a meditation on coming of age in 21st-century America, and a rallying cry against apathy.
"Humanity ends up becoming one of the central themes of the film, and for all the stats and accomplished physicians the film employs, where it really shines is in the intimate stories of transformation." - Katie Walsh, Indiewire
"In this lucid look behind the scenes at hospitals, doctors’ offices and the most intimate corners of patients’ lives, the shortcomings and ways forward emerge in stark relief." - Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Cogent, convincing, determinedly non-ideological, "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" tells us that everything we think we know about that incendiary topic might be wrong." - Kenneth Turan, LA Times
"We've been having the wrong debate, and it's time for Americans to start focusing on the systemic problems and tangible solutions, or "escape fires," that are right in front of us." - Matthew Heineman, Director/Producer ESCAPE FIRE
"The overall quality of the films in the 2012 Competition section will make for an exciting Festival and a remarkable year ahead for independent film audiences everywhere,” said John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival."
“For many of these filmmakers, receiving a grant will be just the beginning of our relationship with them," said Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program. “We welcome these filmmakers to our community and look forward to working with them to further support and develop their unique visions."