Films We Like is excited to present Jesse Moss’ Sundance 2014 jaw-dropper THE OVERNIGHTERS. This haunting film follows the desperate, broken men who chase their dreams and run from their demons in the North Dakota oil fields, and the local Pastor who risks everything to help them. THE OVERNIGHTERS premiered this year at Sundance where it won the ‘Special Jury Prize for Intuitive Filmmaking,’ and it then captivated audiences at Hot Docs 2014.
The film now opens in Toronto at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Friday, November 7, 2014.
It is no secret that the United States has been facing a time of economic crisis. But in Williston, North Dakota the oil business is booming, nearly tripling the small town’s population in the past ten years. Unemployment is close to zero and starting pay in the oil fields can easily exceed $100,000. In search of a better life or a quick dollar, thousands of desperate men and women flock to the region looking for work and often arrive with little more than the clothes on their backs or the cars they are driving.
!Housing in Williston has become scarce and expensive, leaving even those who have found employment without a place to live. These newcomers arrive at Concordia Lutheran Church everyday seeking help, which prompts Pastor Jay Reinke to open the church’s doors to allow the “Overnighters” — as he calls them — to stay for a night, a week or sometimes even longer, sleeping on the floor, in the pews and in their cars in the Church parking lot. Far from home and their families, they are desperately seeking the American Dream. On some nights, as many as sixty people call the Church home, which creates a vibrant but unruly ad-hoc community.
￼Members of Pastor Reinke’s Congregation and the Church’s neighbours voice their concerns about The Overnighters, while the recent murder of a local schoolteacher by out-of-towners has sown fear and distrust in Williston. The local newspaper’s sensational coverage of violent crime in the area contributes to a growing sense of unease. Yet Pastor Reinke remains determined to unite a divided community. “The last thing we need to do is serve our fear,” he says.
A modern-day Grapes of Wrath, THE OVERNIGHTERS engages and dramatizes a set of universal themes, including the promise and limits of reinvention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “Love thy neighbor” and the practice of one small, conservative community when confronted by a mighty river of desperate, job-seeking strangers.
For additional information and interview requests, please contact: Jasmine Pauk - Publicist - Films We Like