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Darius Goes West

Darius Goes West is a documentary by Logan Smalley. It revolves around Darius Weems, a teenager with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, who, because of his disease, had never left his hometown of Athens, Georgia. Thus, in the summer of 2005, with the help of eleven young friends, 15-year-old Darius set off on a road trip across the United States with the ultimate goal of reaching Los Angeles in the hopes of appearing on MTV's show "Pimp My Ride". They traveled in an RV and tested wheelchair-accessibility in America during the course of their trip. They hoped to get Darius's old and worn-out wheelchair customized on the hit show.


The crew

  • Darius Weems
  • Logan Smalley
  • Dylan Wilson
  • Andrew Carson
  • Jason Hees
  • Collin Shepley
  • Ben Smalley
  • John Harmon
  • Kevin Wier
  • Sam Johnson
  • John Hadden
  • Daniel Epting

The trip

Darius felt the ocean for the first time Panama City Beach, Florida. The group also made a stop in New Orleans. They celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act in the bat caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico and were very impressed by the wheelchair-accessibility of the old caves. Darius also got to see the Grand Canyon, which was his most anticipated site before they had embarked. Darius's favorite stop, however, was Las Vegas. In Temecula, California, he experienced a hot air balloon ride. While in San Diego, Sam and Jason received commemorative tattoos, and the group visited Sea World.


The film won 24 awards in 2007. It won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, the Boston Independent Film Festival, and the Oxford Film Festival. At the Cleveland International Film Festival, it won for Best Film and the Standing Up Film Competition. The documentary won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the Jackson Hole Film Festival as well as the Cowboy Award for Best Documentary. At the Omaha Film Festival, Darius Goes West won the Audience Award and the Jury Award for Best Documentary. At the Oxford Film Festival, the film also won for Best Documentary. It won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Darius Goes West also won the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. At the Solstice Film Festival, it won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary.

Charley's Fund

All proceeds from the film go to Charley's Fund, a foundation investing in scientific research to help cure DMD.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Darius_Goes_West". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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