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Ramin Bahrani’s ‘2nd Chance’ to Get Theatrical Release Ahead of Showtime Premiere

Bleecker Street will distribute the film in New York and Los Angeles beginning December 2. The doc will debut on Showtime in the spring.

Richard Davis in 2ND CHANCE. Photo credit: Vespucci/Courtesy of SHOWTIME.

Richard Davis in “2nd Chance”

Vespucci/Courtesy of SHOWTIME

Showtime Documentary Films is partnering with Bleecker Street to give Ramin Bahrani’s Sundance darling “2nd Chance” a theatrical release later this year ahead of its debut on Showtime next spring.

“2nd Chance” is “The White Tiger” and “Chop Shop” filmmaker’s feature-length documentary debut and tells the story of Richard Davis, the man who invented the modern-day bulletproof vest and shot himself 192 times in order to prove to law enforcement and the military that his creation actually worked.

Bleecker will release the film in New York and Los Angeles beginning Friday, December 2; it will then expand to additional cities on Dec. 9, potentially thrusting it into the Oscar race. We do not yet have a Spring 2023 debut date from Showtime.

Bahrani in “2nd Chance” demonstrates that though Davis was a hero to police and the military, tragedy ultimately brought down his business empire following the death of a police officer who was wearing some Second Chance body armor. The film grapples with how the embrace of the bulletproof vest may have saved countless lives but also endangered exponentially more as gun culture took further hold across America. And like many of his narrative films, Bahrani’s story is just as much about the pursuit of the American Dream as it is about guns and the complexities of this one man.

Showtime picked up “2nd Chance” following its Sundance premiere this January, and it has since gone on to play at HotDocs, True False Film Festival, BAMCinemaFest, and CPH:DOX, and will showcase at the upcoming DOC NYC. It has won awards at Miami Film Festival and most recently at the Chicago International Film Festival. You can check out IndieWire critic David Ehrlich’s review of the film out of Sundance here.

The documentary is written and directed by Bahrani, who also produces. Daniel Turcan and Johnny Galvin of Vespucci, Charles Dorfman, and Jacob Grodnik also serve as producers. The film is executive produced by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer (“The Act of Killing,” “The Look of Silence”), Myles Estey, Bahareh Azimi, and Marlon Vogelgesang. Fifth Season and Samuel Marshall Films produced and financed the film.

“With this extraordinary film, Ramin Bahrani yet again puts his masterful storytelling on display in his documentary feature debut. In exploring the turbulent life of Richard Davis, he examines the pursuit of the American dream and one man’s desire to attain it at any cost,” Vinnie Malhotra, EVP of nonfiction programming at Showtime Networks Inc., said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Bleecker Street to give ‘2nd Chance’ the broader audience it deserves, by taking this film into theaters.”

“I’m very happy to work with Showtime and Bleecker Street for the release,” Bahrani said. “The film is a timely wild ride that I hope audiences experience together in a cinema and then on Showtime.”

“We’re excited to be working with Showtime on Ramin’s incredible film. We’ve been fans of Ramin’s films since ’99 Homes’ and are looking forward to bringing this riotous story to theaters this December,” Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said in a statement.

Bahrani is the Iranian-American writer, director, and producer of films such as “Man Push Cart,” “Chop Shop,” “Goodbye Solo,” “99 Homes,” and “The White Tiger.” His two short documentaries, “Life You Up” and “Blood Kin,” screened at Venice, Telluride, and Toronto. Bahrani is a Guggenheim Fellowship winner, and his cinematic oeuvre is housed in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Bleecker Street recently entered an exclusive three-year output deal with Showtime Networks Inc.

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