About the Film
About the Director
Set in the 1970s, FREE RIDE stars Academy Award® winner Anna Paquin (THE PIANO, HBO’s TRUE BLOOD) as a single mother who moves to Florida with her daughters in search of a better life, but gets pulled into the high-stakes drug-trade business. This accomplished, gritty directorial debut, based on writer/director Shana Betz’s life story, delivers as both a provocative crime thriller and a powerfully rendered family portrait. Paquin’s dynamic star turn and a vivid supporting cast, including Cam Gigandet and THE SOPRANO’s Drea De Matteo, help make FREE RIDE an unforgettable trip.
Shana Betz served as Executive Director for the MVPA, the premiere trade association for the music video industry, and Executive Produced the Director’s Cuts Film Festival, the cutting edge film festival of short films by the top music video directors. After leaving the MVPA, Betz produced many short format projects, including THE STRANGER, which won the Eastman Kodak New Filmmaker Award. She also honed her acting and comedic voice while performing with Tim Robbins’ world renowned ensemble, The Actors’ Gang, in Los Angeles where she toured the country as the only female in George Orwell’s 1984. In 2009/10, Betz partnered with Robbins to program and produce the WTF?! Festival and Axis Mundi Series -- over 40 music, literature and film events with Tenacious D, Gore Vidal, Sarah Silverman, Jackson Browne, Jenny Lewis, Paul Provenza, Ben Gibbard, John Doe and many more. Shana’s transition to writer/director began in 2010 when she received a grant to write and direct a short film for the Girls! Girls! Girls! Project, an anthology of shorts by women about women. She next participated in the 2011 Film Independent Directors Lab Fellowship with FREE RIDE. She is currently in post production on her second feature, a supernatural mystery/thriller.