You can’t beat the odds unless you TRY!

Fresno, California –A city known as the agricultural hub, where undocumented immigrants, gang violence and poverty are prevalent – it’s an unlikely place to find five Hispanic teens playing the elitist sport of rugby. However, this is the true story about a group of teens who escape the harsh realities of their environment and find solace on the rough rugby field.

This clash of cultures is fused by a spirited, Irish American rugby coach, who gives these teens a purpose to advance from a hard life – working the fields and living in poverty to playing on the field. He teaches them to excel in areas that they never they could – academics, sports and an incredible drive to further their education and explore the world.

These are the Rough Riders from Roosevelt High School

Lobos – forced into early manhood to care for his invalid mother and a houseful of siblings

Joaquin – flamboyant, artistic, but trapped by his own insecurities

Alby – resourceful, irreverent, lives out of his BMW, souped together with scrap car parts

Ricky – balancing his love of learning, romantic interest and the need to work the fields

Ne-Ne – an artistic virtuoso who risks his life by tagging

In the game of Rugby, instead of a touchdown, points are scored with a “TRY.” The odds were stacked against these kids from the get-go in both life and in the game. They learn the life lessons of team sports: camaraderie, responsibility, tenacity. Most importantly though, from the coach and this strange game, the Roosevelt Rough Riders learn that while life never guarantees you a win, you can’t beat the odds unless you TRY.

Who We Are

Nancy Fletcher - Producer
Nancy Fletcher possesses an impressive array of in-depth knowledge and expertise in the advertising industry. She has been executive producer on numerous broadcast projects, including ESPN, CBS News, Paramount Television and other commercial advertisers. She has managed the creative departments of several agencies and knows how to spot talent. Several of her former employees are now screenwriters, studio executives and voiceover talent. After 24 years in entertainment advertising, Nancy switched gears to produce school and sports events for her two boys. Nancy works in the wholesale distribution business with her husband and son. TRY will bring her back to the industry where she thrives.
Cindy Ware - Producer
Cindy Ware has been involved with movie production for 10 years. She has producer credits for several films, including Til You Get To Baraboo, Hansel and Gretel, and Jesus Awakens The Little Girl, which played at the AOF International Film Festival. She is President of Ware Management and has launched the careers of several newcomers. As a senior executive in the cinema industry she is the head film buyer for Noret Theatres for more than 25 years. Cindy is a respected member of the film community and participates in numerous industry associations and charities.
Ryan Ramos
Ryan Ramos, a Fresno native, has been writing screenplays for several years. He graduated from Fresno State with a BA in English and attended Fresno State’s Master of Fine Arts program for Creative
Writing. His credits include writer and script supervisor for Bigfoot’s Wild Weekend produced by Harmut Entertainment. He was Assistant Director for Fighting Sleep, produced by Renegade Films. When you don’t find Ryan writing, he works as an Analyst for Child Support Services for the county of Fresno.
Lana Shields – Producer
Lana Shields grew up in Fresno, CA and brings a cultural awareness to the TRY story. She provides numerous design ideas and products for film companies such as Universal, Sony, Warner Bros., and DreamWorks. Lana’s husband, a voting member of the Motion Picture Academy, introduced her to the intricate workings of the film industry on a global level. She attends the Academy’s private screenings, which include Q&A, with many well-known directors, actors and writers.
Mark Gillard – Director/Editor (Presentation Reel)
Mark Gillard hails from New Zealand and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in motion picture editing. He began at the top joining Steven Spielberg’s Editorial Group, and along with his team was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture Editing on Munich. He has worked directly with Mr. Spielberg’s editor, Michael Kahn cutting on film and digital for a decade. His credits include: A.I., Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, War of the Worlds, Munich, Mr. Brooks, Indiana Jones 4 & The Aviation Cocktail. Mark is passionate about rugby and hasn’t stopped playing since the age of five. For the past ten years he has been the captain of the San Fernando Valley Men’s A side, who are currently playing in the Southern California Division 2 and has gone on to several National Sweet 16 tournaments representing San Fernando Valley Rugby and Santa Monica Rugby Club. Mark is also involved in youth rugby development throughout Los Angeles. Mark currently resides in Ventura, CA and splits his time between family, and editing for Universal Studios & Tig Productions (Kevin Costner’s production company).
Jake Alinikoff
The screenplay TRY is written by Jake Alinikoff. He graduated Cum Laude from Ithaca College several years ago and is already making a mark on the entertainment industry. He has worked on projects, which include The Sessions with Helen Hunt, and has pitched screenplays to several networks.