Although RiseUp is essentially a Jamaican documentary that spotlights Reggae, it transcends genre and niche, seamlessly weaving three distinct stories into one inspiring feature film that is both dramatic and vibrantly explosive. Some are calling RiseUp the Jamaican ‘Hoop Dreams’ and the best movie to come out of the Caribbean in many years. The film features appearances and performances by both arising and legendary artists.
Directed by Luciano Blotta, a native of Argentina, and produced by Darrin Holender (‘Sorority Row’), the film is the winner of the 2009 AFI/DISCOVERY SILVERDOCS Best Music Documentary Award, and was an audience favorite as an officially selected film at over twenty international film festivals, including IDFA Amsterdam, HotDocs the Bahamas International Film Festival and the HBO Latino Film Festival. Recently, RiseUp was chosen by the Lincoln Center’s Film Society to celebrate Black History Month.
Over six years in the making, RiseUp is now gearing for a theatrical release in Jamaica and the U.S. in October. A one-hour television version of the film was broadcasted by BBC Storyville and many other networks worldwide and many more have ordered the film for their upcoming programming schedules, including the PBS series AfroPop and CBC Canada.
Beyond it’s appeal with general filmgoers worldwide, in intends to reach reggae audiences as well. In a recent interview with Australian press, Blotta stated, “I saw how much talent there is [in Jamaica],how flamboyant, different and creative all these people were, and it really inspired me.” He is excited to finally share his six-year project with audiences in Boston and New York these coming weeks, so they can “appreciate this priceless portrayal of a uniquely proud country”.
Having screened to full houses in over ten countries since late 2008, RiseUp has indeed connected to men and women, young and old, from all backgrounds. Audiences have been dancing, laughing and crying in their seats. Core reggae audiences and music doc fans have lauded the film for its authenticity and entertainment value, while general audiences have praised the film for its original storytelling, inspirational tone and beautiful images and sounds. Entertainment industry veterans who have viewed the film have commended Blotta’s efforts as an invaluable contribution to both the Jamaican culture as well as the medium of documentary cinema.
Excited about the upcoming theatrical release, Holender stated, “Audiences definitely connect with RiseUp- we just need to put it on the screen anywhere and a RiseUp movement will organically develop from there.” The Boston Premiere of “RiseUp” will be held at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) on Friday, August 27th 2010. The event will start at 7 pm followed by a Q & A session with the director and will be moderated by Karen Holmes Ward who hosts “CityLine,” Channel 5’s award-winning urban news and feature magazine program. “RiseUp” will then be screened in Brooklyn, New York at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (‘BAM’) on Sunday, September 5th 2010. For more details, contact www.RiseUpMovie.com, www.ICABoston.org or www.BAM.org