“An essential watch”
“Raw and pressing”
and atmospheric.”

Roll Red Roll

When social media, “boys will be boys,” and vigilante justice collide,
Steubenville, Ohio will never be the same.

Six Best Feature Documentary Awards

About the film

Roll Red Roll is a true-crime thriller that goes behind the headlines to uncover the deep-seated and social media-fueled “boys will be boys” culture at the root of high school sexual assault in America.


At a pre-season football party in small-town Steubenville, Ohio, a heinous crime took place: the assault of a teenage girl by members of the beloved high school football team. What transpired would garner national attention and result in the sentencing of two key offenders. But it was the disturbing social media evidence uncovered online by crime blogger Alex Goddard that provoked the most powerful questions about the case, and about the collusion of teen bystanders, teachers, parents and coaches to protect the assailants and discredit the victim. As it painstakingly reconstructs the night of the crime and its aftermath, Roll Red Roll uncovers the engrained rape culture at the heart of the incident, acting as a cautionary tale about what can happen when teenage social media bullying runs rampant and adults look the other way. The film unflinchingly asks: “why didn’t anyone stop it?”

Film team

Nancy Schwartzman - Director/Producer

Nancy Schwartzman is a documentary film director, producer, and media strategist who uses storytelling and technology to create safer communities for women and girls. Roll Red Roll goes beyond the headlines of the notorious Steubenville, Ohio high school sexual assault case to uncover the social-media fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen. Roll Red Roll premiered in 2018 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and has screened at over 40 film festivals worldwide and garnered 6 awards, including the Adrienne Shelly Foundation’s Excellence in Filmmaking Award and “Best of Show” at Bend Film Festival. The film opened theatrically at the Film Forum in New York City and the Laemmle Monica Film Center in Los Angeles to uniformly positive reviews with 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was a Critic’s Pick in The New York Times and reviewed in The New Yorker, Variety, and the Los Angeles Times amongst others.

The film is designed to have a robust impact campaign focusing on engaging men and boys into the solution to end violence against women, as well as engaging communities, schools and parents.  Roll Red Roll is Nancy’s feature film debut. Her first film, The Line, a short documentary examining consent was used by the White House for a campaign around sexuality, and her follow-up film XOXOSMS, was on PBS/POV and BBC exploring love between two teenagers, bridged by technology.

A globally recognized human rights activist, Nancy is a tech founder and created the Obama/Biden’s White House award-winning mobile app Circle of 6 designed to reduce sexual violence among America’s youth and college students. Over 350,000 people in 36 countries use Circle of  She has presented her work at the White House, the United Nations, TEDxSheffield, CNN, Forbes, Good Pitch, DOCNYC and more.

Steven Lake - Producer

Steven Lake’s directorial debut Drying For Freedom had success in the international film festival circuit, and picked up several accolades including the UK’s 2012 Climate Week Award for Best Artistic Response. In early 2013 the documentary went into distribution, securing broadcast deals within the US, Asia and Europe. Steven’s work to date has revolved around the aim of creating lasting social change through documentary; he is a converted environmentalist and advocate for feminism and women’s rights.

Jessica Devaney - Producer

Jessica is a creative producer and impact strategist. She produced the Sundance-supported documentary, Speed Sisters, about a fearless team of Palestinian women racecar drivers.  She co-produced the Peabody Award winning short film My Neighbourhood, exploring the human impact of settlement expansion in East Jerusalem, and produced its companion web series Home Front, which Richard Branson deemed “films that make a difference.” Jessica associate produced Budrus, which won thirteen international awards, including the Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize.

Executive Producers

Abigail Disney, Barbara Dobkin, Geralyn Dreyfous, Maxyne Franklin, Chandra Jessee, Patty Quillin, Gini Reticker, Regina K. Scully

Matt Bockelman - Director of Photography

Matt Bockelman is a New York-based cinematographer whose feature documentary credits also include Do I Sound Gay and To Be Takei.  He’s created short-form works for many arts and non-profit organizations, including Sesame Street, NYC Ballet and The Public Theater. He is also an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Chris White - Editor

Christopher White has been a documentary film editor, producer and director of numerous award winning films since 1995. His most recent project (as co-producer and editor) is Love Free or Die, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Prize. Other films include The Killer Within (as editor and co-director) which premiered at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for a 2008 Best Documentary Emmy, and Hard Road Home, nominated for a Best Documentary Emmy in 2009. White also edited Waging A Living, which followed the struggle of four working Americans trying to make ends meet, and Critical Condition, a verité journey through America’s ailing health care system. 

Nima Fakhrara - Composer

Iranian-born composer, ethnomusicologist, and inventor of musical instruments, Nima Fakhrara is the founder of Zoo Creatives, with studios in Los Angeles and New York City.   His credits include the Toronto Film Festival Official Selection, The Girl in the Photographs (the final film executive produced by Wes Craven), the Los Angeles Film Festival selection Consumed (directed by Daryl Wein), the Sundance Film Festival selection The Signal, Catchaman (directed by Toya Sato and starring Tori Matsuzaka and Ryohei Suzuki), a live action take on the anime series Battle of the Planets, The Pyramid (directed by Gregory Levveseur, produced by Alexander Aja), and Exists (directed by Eduardo Sanchez).  His international credits include the Japanese TV show called Tantei No Tantei, and the SXSW selection I am a Hero.   His video game credits include Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and the 2016 release 1979 Revolution.

Bari Pearlman - Co-Producer

Bari Pearlmanis a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose award-winning films include Mah-Jongg: The Tiles that Bind, Daughters of Wisdom and Nangchen Shorts.  She recently directed two episodes of HLN Death Row Stories and the short documentary Autism Is for Life for HBO Night of Too Many Stars. As a Producer, Bari collaborated on HBO’s feature documentary How to Dance in Ohio, and Smile ‘Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story. For television, she was recently Story Producer/Co-Producer of Amazon’s The New Yorker Presents and previously produced A&E’s Fugitive Chronicles and Court TV’s Shots in the Dark. Bari is a member of the Producer’s Guild of America and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Chachi Hauser - Associate Producer

Chachi Hauser is a filmmaker and writer based in New Orleans. Her short film, 1227 Lesseps which she co-wrote and directed, premiered at the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival. Her Wesleyan University thesis film, Lolo, won honors and screened at the 2014 Boston Wicked Queer Film Festival as well as 2014 Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest in London. She is currently an associate producer on two projects in development, including a documentary series focusing on young people in Southeastern Louisiana most vulnerable to climate change. Her writing has appeared in Hobart Online, Quaint Magazine, among others.

Eliza Licht – Impact Producer and Engagement Strategist

Eliza Licht is an industry leader in developing and implementing engagement strategies to maximize the impact and visibility of documentary films. Before starting Licht Creative Consulting, she spent 17 years, building and expanding the community engagement and education department at the PBS documentary series, POV. As Vice President of Content Strategy and Engagement, Licht spearheaded broadcast campaigns for over 250 films, including American PromiseFood, Inc. and Last Train Home. Under her leadership, there was a 1000% increase in the number of events to over 800 screenings a year engaging over 46,000 people directly. In her current role, she works closely with clients to help determine their goals and vision for engagement and impact. She creates and implements entire campaigns including overall strategy, partnership development, overseeing the production of high-quality educational resources, and tracking, measuring, and evaluating impact. Eliza frequently speaks at conferences and festivals. She has appeared on panels at AFI Docs, IFP Film Week, DocNYC, Tribeca Film Institute, DocEdge Kolkata and DMZ Docs.

Jessica DeBruin - Impact Coordinator

Jessica is a media professional and writer with a dedication to intersectional film and theatre. She has 4 years experience implementing fundraising and patron engagement strategies at national theatre nonprofits including Roundabout Theatre Company, and Center Theatre Group. She holds a BA in Theatre and Latin American Studies from Smith College. Her writing has been featured in online platforms for The Advocate and Everyday Democracy.

Joe Samalin - Educator and Facilitator

Joe Samalin has been helping communities engage men and boys in gender-based violence prevention for over 20 years. He is the co-founder of MenChal- lenging, and is currently working as a consultant on with numerous colleges and universities, government agencies, and more. Prior to that he was Senior Program Manager for Community Mobilization & Leadership Development with Breakthrough, a global human rights organization that works to challenge the culture of violence against women and girls. He has been working to address violence against women and girls since he was an undergraduate student, and as an activist and organizer addresses domestic violence, sexual violence, and anti-stalking, through trainings and programming with hundreds of communities on these issues.