RIDE: A Brutal Fairytale


2023 Nominee ✨
  • Best Life or Legacy Tribute


RIDE: A Brutal Fairytale is the adrenaline-fuelled, tragedy-laced love story of two of the world’s top BMX riders. RIDE paints a bold picture of reinvention in the world of disability.

How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

RIDE succeeds at taking a niche sport to a mainstream audience through its powerful love story.

RIDE provides a lens for the modern sports fan to view BMX racing, showcasing the incredible athleticism and courage required to compete at the highest level.

Through its portrayal of Sam and Alise Willoughby's journey, RIDE not only sheds light on the Olympic sport of BMX racing but also inspires audiences to rethink their preconceived ideas about disability and the limitless potential of the human spirit.

RIDE inspires the film industry to continue to tell stories that resonate, even in niche contexts.



The film’s opening scenes use our heroes (Sam and Alise Willoughby) alongside high-impact BMX race vision to hook audiences, while teasing the unimaginable fall of our hero:

RIDE is more than a sports documentary. RIDE was born out of Sam’s advocacy for disability awareness. It’s a catalyst for decoding the myths of disability, increasing understanding regardless of your personal challenges, to create change.

  • RIDE makes a difference for those that suffer spinal injuries and live with a disability.
  • RIDE shines a light on the physical and mental challenges after traumatic injuries.
  • RIDE changes the conversation in our communities, enabling people with disabilities to gain confidence, fulfill their potential and achieve their dreams.
  • RIDE pushes viewers to challenge their preconceived ideas about disability and its perceived limits.
  • RIDE inspires inclusivity and engagement with the disabled community by supporting disability advocacy groups.
  • RIDE empowers young people with this story of overcoming hardship, providing inspiration for the next generation.


Strategy & Execution

Modern sports fans love heroes, and they love ‘love’. There’s no substitute for a great love story.

However, the modern sports fan is overloaded with content. So even an unforgettable story needs to compel the audience to stay tuned.

The film’s opening scenes use our heroes (Sam and Alise Willoughby) alongside high-impact BMX race vision to hook audiences, while teasing the unimaginable fall of our hero:

  • BMX racing demands  absolutely every aspect of athleticism
  • The skill and adaptability of a freestyle skier
  • The physical capabilities of a 100-meter sprinter
  • The tactical understanding of a Formula 1 driver
  • BMX racing was my life. Until it wasn’t

RIDE quickly transports viewers from the couch, onto the BMX track and into Sam and Alise’s private lives.


Instagram and YouTube content, TV interviews, and broadcast vision set the Hollywood fairytale of a high school romance between World Champions.

Never-before-seen home movies take fans into a complex web of personal relationships—boyfriend and girlfriend, living together, sharing a coach, pursuing Olympic gold for different nations.

Interviews take viewers beneath a polished version of reality, to confront the uncomfortable realities of life with a disability.

RIDE leaves fans asking what they can do to help this cause.


  • Bursty
  • Wildbear Entertainment

Athletes & Creators

  • Sam Willougby
  • Alise Willoughby


James Ward

Adrian Goold

Serge Ou
Wildbear Entertainment

Will Ward
Wildbear Entertainment

Chris Bamford
Wildbear Entertainment

Michael Tear
Wildbear Entertainment

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 5th Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 14, 2023 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.