EXCLUSIVE: Winter State Entertainment is currently in post-production on ROAF, a feature-length doc on the life of Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Roaf, which will examine his civil rights activism throughout his time in the National Football League.
Roaf’s family played a huge part in history. His mother was named the first Black Supreme Court Justice in Arkansas, appointed by both Democratic and Republican Governors. His father played football for Michigan State after traveling the civil rights-era iteration of the ‘Underground Railroad,’ a clandestine network that helped promising African-American athletes migrate north and escape the segregated south to play college and professional sports. Roaf went on to play in the NFL for both the New Orleans Saints and the Kansas City Chiefs, earning himself 13 Pro-Bowls and eventually ending up in the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.
After a prestigious career in pro football, he married business owner and entrepreneur Angela Hernandez Roaf, blending their experiences and expertise in business, sports, ministry, philanthropy, and even politics—as significant supporters of Bill Clinton who ultimately played a role in helping him become Governor of Arkansas. The Roafs are now dedicated to sharing the stories and legacies of professional athletes from all sectors of the world of sports, passionate about providing a platform where athletes have an opportunity to film a documented narrative of their lives, allowing their stories to live on and empowering them in future endeavors.
ROAF tells its story via never-before seen footage and exclusive interviews with such subjects Roaf; his fellow Hall of Famers Will Shields, Jerome Bettis, Orlando Pace and Tony Gonzalez; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; recently-inducted Hall of Fame Coach Dick Vermeil; Irv Smith Sr., Trent Green, Coach Jim Mora, Lamont Smith, and many members of Roaf’s family.
Hamid R. Torabpour and Camille Torabpour are directing the pic, with the latter producing alongside William and Angela Roaf, Eric Leaman and Winter State Entertainment. The team will complete post later this year, and will look to sell the film to a streamer by fall.
“There’s so much more to the athletes that we see and love,” said Willie Roaf. “That’s what’s so exciting to me, to be able to share my story for everyone to see, to give people insight into what made me the person I am on and off the field. Hamid and Camille were the right people to steer the ship as they genuinely value the history and family that shapes my story.”
Said Hamid Torabpour: “We are beyond excited to work with Willie and Angela Roaf. Willie’s story is relevant to today’s culture, and we all gain something from memorializing his incredible life story.”
Added Camille Torabpour: “Willie is one of the most magnetic people I’ve known. His joy and zeal for life are contagious. He had an iconic career in the NFL but paired with his powerhouse wife, Angela, they are doing magnificent things.”
Hamid and Camille Torabpour are a Minnesota-based husband & wife film producing team who have been steadily growing their Winter State Entertainment banner toward becoming a significant production hub throughout the Midwest. They’ve previously backed titles like the Vans Warped Tour film Summertime Dropouts, starring Nicholas Podany and Josh Richards, and the football drama Under the Stadium Lights, with Laurence Fishburne and Milo Gibson. Also coming up for the company is the comedy Lapham Rising from director Charlie Kessler.
The Torabpours are represented by Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks.