Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night official trailer and release date
Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night (credit Jeff Mateer)

Gravitas Ventures will release Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night the multi-award-winning documentary from Executive Producer Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine),

Co-written and co-directed by Michael O’Brien (American Greed, The First 48: Missing Persons), and Mike Schmiedeler (Parole Diaries, Collector’s Call,), the film will be released on all TVOD platforms on August 27, 2024, and will also have theatrical World Premieres with musical performances by Ike Reilly and company in Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Denver, and Fort Wayne, & more to come.

Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night explores the life and career of Ike Reilly by culling over 40 years of footage and masterfully weaving in Reilly’s songs and stories to reveal a complicated and formidable artist. From his critically acclaimed major label debut album “Salesmen And Racists” to the celebrated “Born On Fire” album whose title track was featured in Ike’s friend Chris Farley’s biopic along with interviews from Ike himself. The film includes electrifying live performances, intimate personal moments and interviews with critics, fans, family, and legendary artists including David Lowery and Johnny Hickman of the band Cracker and Rock & Roll Hall Fame inductee Tom Morello. Morello, who also serves as Executive Producer says, “Ike Reilly is kind of like a real-life version of Jimmy Stewart’s character in It’s A Wonderful Life. Ike’s path as an incredibly talented yet underappreciated heartland troubadour has taken many unexpected, hilarious, rocky, and ultimately redemptive twists and turns that are all beautifully captured in this great film.”

Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night is a non-linear affair that goes beyond the land of typical rock documentaries. 5 years in the making and with its impressionistic approach – it melds visual media, audio, and studio recordings to subtly take the viewer to a more profound and poignant place. Mike Schmiedeler who also produced the film says, “Ike Reilly isn’t just a truly unique artist he’s a one-of-a-kind character.In this documentary we were able to capture how his music, his band and his career intersect and are influenced by his amazing family.Ike is the songwriter musicians wish they were with a close-knit family everyone wishes was theirs.He has created his own world where his band, his fans, his family, and his assorted supporting players are all part of the same tribe.”

Don’t Turn Your Back On Friday Night has played the Film Festival circuit, collecting the following awards: Sound on Screen – Best Documentary, Toronto Documentary Feature & Short Film Festival — Best Feature Film, Worldfest Houston International Film Festival – Silver Remi Award, Palm Beach Film Festival – Feature Documentary Award, SoCal Film Awards – Documentary Feature Honorable Mention Award, Hollywood Gold Awards Best – Best Feature Documentary, among others.

Theatrical & Live Performance details:

Monday, August 12 – Minneapolis – The Parkway

Thursday, August 15 – Chicago – Metro

Saturday, August 17 – Denver – SIE Film Center

Thursday, August 22 – Fort Wayne – Cinema Center

Friday, August 23 – Cleveland – Beachland Ballroom

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