Wind Riders: A Film About Three Balloonists Set To Premier During Balloon Fiesta • I am New Mexico

Wind Riders: A Film About Three Balloonists Set To Premier During Balloon Fiesta



Film About Three Balloonists Set to Premiere During

World’s Largest Balloon Festival

ALBUQUERQUENM August 30, 2019 – NewbornDreamer Films, Viceroy Films, and August Road Entertainment announced today that their latest film, ”Wind Riders”, will premiere on October 7 at the historic KiMo Theatre during the world’s largest gathering of balloonists: the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

”Wind Riders”, a feature length documentary, focuses on the beauty of ballooning as well as the magnificence of the human spirit by tellingthe poignant and inspiring stories of three American balloonists who dedicate their lives to their sport. Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer Davis – two of the most renowned gas-balloon pilots in the world – are a driven championship team shown competing in a high-risk quest to defend their world title. And Bill Hughes is a masterful solo hot-air balloon pilot whose quiet passion transcends generations.

To date, “Wind Riders” has received the Audience Best Documentary at the Manhattan Film Festival, Best Inspirational Film at the New York Film Awards, Best Indie Filmmaker at Festigious International Film Festival, Best Inspirational Film at the Los Angeles Film Awards, and the Women Filmmakers Award at the Accolade Global Film Competition.

The film’s Director, Emi Katayama, said of this special showing, “It’s really amazing to be able to bring the film to Albuquerque during the Balloon Fiesta, and to share the story with the community that meant so much to Richard and Carol. The film conveys the tremendous energy generated by the people at this event – they love ballooning, and that inspired me during my creation process.”

During her childhood in Japan, Katayama was inspired by the iconic book, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, the international best-seller written by Richard Bach. Decades later, her first documentary begins with hot-air balloon pilot Bill Hughes, who was so moved by the same book that he adorned his balloon with the image of seagulls in a blue sky.

Richard’s wife, Nancy Abruzzo, stated, “This brilliant documentary captures the enormous passion Richard had for ballooning. While bittersweet, it warms our hearts to see him in his element and the true happiness it brought him.” 

“The film realistically portrays the dedication and drive Carol and Richard put into their sport. It makes us all remember that exciting adventures also involve high risk,” said Carol’s husband,  John Davis.

Balloonist Bill Hughes commented, “I’m honored to be one of the three balloonists featured in the film – and honored to represent the hot air ballooning segment of the sport.”

“This is a beautiful, inspiring, and untold story. It’s a small, personal film that is amplified by Emi’s carful crafting and use of exclusive, one-of-a-kind footage of two legendary balloonists,” said Executive Producer Michael Rosen.

Ramin Fathie, Executive Producer: “These stories appeal to everyone who’s ever dreamed of floating freely with the clouds. We are excited to bring this film to balloonists worldwide.”

The filmmakers have partnered with The City of Albuquerque to make this premiere happen. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which attracts nearly a million visitors annually and over 580 pilots from across the globe, sets the standard for balloon festivals worldwide.

To celebrate the Albuquerque premiere, filmmakers will host a traditional red carpet entry on Monday, October 7th at the historic KiMo Theatre. Red carpet arrivals will include the people who made this film a reality as well as some of the project’s greatest supporters. The schedule and showtimes are listed below.


423 Central Ave. NW

Albuquerque, NM 87102



KiMo Theatre general information: 

KiMo Theatre Screenings:

  • Monday, October 7th     

5:30pm Red Carpet arrivals and VIP reception

7:00pm Premiere Screening

  • Tuesday, October 8th – 6pm 
  • Wednesday, October 9th – 6pm 


9201 Balloon Museum Dr. NE

Albuquerque, NM 87113


Anderson-Abruzzo Museum Screenings:

October 11th – 13th daily at 3:30pm


For more information contact:

Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group Public Relations,, 505-898-8689

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