You may not know the name Chloé Zhao, but she’s one to watch. With the first The Rider trailer comes a look at this director’s second feature film that earned four Independent Spirit Award nominations, as well as honors from the Cannes and Hamburg film festivals.
Real-life cowboy Brady Jandreau, The Rider‘s breakout lead, stars as Brady Blackburn, a once promising rodeo star in South Dakota who was sidelined after an accident. Faced with a life without a purpose, he attempts to redefine what it means to be a man as he searches for his identify.
Zhao, who previously directed 2015’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, based the character on Jandreau’s life and filled the cast with his friends and family — including Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau, Lane Scott, and Cat Clifford.
Jandreau was on horseback when his foot got caught in the stirrup and the animal stepped on his head. “I went through a lot of pretty intense struggles in my life through my head injury, whether it was mental or psychological,” he told The Wrap last year.
“I would love people to meet [Jandreau],” Zhao told Deadline in 2017, “as he represents a lot of people in that part of the country which today is demonized for probably voting for Trump, but they are humans. I find my calling more in telling the story of that part of the world.”
The Rider will now open in select theaters on April 13. Watch the trailer above.