101 Studios announced today the acquisition of film and television rights to Paradise Found, the non-fiction book written by Bill Plaschke about the inspiration that lay in the small town of Paradise, California. Paradise Found will be produced by Mark Ciardi of Select Films and executive produced by David Glasser, David Hutkin and Bob Yari. 101 has been working closely with Ciardi, Plaschke, the coach and the team to be sure that their journey is documented with respect and authenticity.
Paradise Found is the story of Paradise, California, a small mountain town ravaged by the devastating Camp Fire of 2018, and how its high school football team under the dedication of its longtime coach, Rick Prinz, helped it rise from the ashes, inspiring a community and a nation with its grit and perseverance.
Says Prinz: “11/8/18 at 8:34 AM I sent this text message to the football team- “the plan is to practice at 3:00 today. If it is too smoky, we will modify our activity. I will keep you informed if anything changes.” 11 minutes later, we were running for our lives. These young men had faced the reality of death. They had lost everything, their possessions, their homes, their town. They were living with relatives, in hotels, trailers, and cars. Some were homeless. I could see the anguish and despair in their eyes. We didn’t have a school, we didn’t have a practice field, we didn’t have cleats, we didn’t even have a football. But we had each other.”
Bill Plaschke, who will also serve as a consultant on the film said: “Imagine a small-town-football-team story that begins with no town and no team. The rebirth of the Paradise High Bobcats in the wake of a fire that decimated their small mountain village is a tale of 39 displaced kids and their coaches fighting together to overcome tragedy, forge a family, dominate a season, and bond a broken community. When they began spring practice, they didn’t even have a football. When they ended their incredible season, they owned the love of a nation. Uplifting and heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant, the 2019 Paradise Bobcats wrote a comeback story for the ages.”
“The Camp Fire in Paradise California last year completely devastated the homes and lives of the people who lived there but we are honored to shine a light on the inspirational reporting and storytelling by Bill Plaschke of this remarkable community, and high school football team, rebuilding their lives,” said David Glasser, 101 Studios.
“A year ago, the town of Paradise endured its complete destruction, due to the deadliest wild fire in California history. Its football team has helped it rebuild literally from the ashes, and given hope where little existed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a story with this much emotion in it. Nearly all of the players lost their homes. For these boys, football and each other, was all they had,” said Mark Ciardi, “To have Bill Plaschke embedded within this community, and telling this story is a gift. No one is better.”
Mark Ciardi is the Founder & CEO of Select Films. Previously, Mark had an overall first look deal with Walt Disney Studios for twelve years. Mark recently produced Chappaquiddick, and The Miracle Season, as well as the upcoming Disney film Safety. Mark has produced several iconic sports films, including The Rookie, Miracle, Invincible, The Game Plan, Secretariat, Million Dollar Arm, and McFarland USA.