Point of View


Florida Premiere of RiseUp Rose to the Occasion
August 19, 2009, 6:19 pm
Filed under: At the Center

This past weekend, over 500 people came and experienced the award-winning music documentary RiseUp as it made its debut in Florida at the Carnival Studio Theater in the Ziff Ballet Opera House.  Kicking off the Center’s first members/public programs initiative, RiseUp brought both first-time Arsht Center visitors and long-time Arsht Center members from all walks of life that truly reflected the great diversity of the Miami community.  

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Director Luciano Blotta addresses his audience

On an island where reggae is considered the voice of the people and an outlet for survival, RiseUp follows three aspiring artists who seek to “rise up” from obscurity.  This documentary is unlike any documentary about Jamaica as it takes the viewer off the beaten path far from any tourist attractions. From the deep countryside to the whirlwind ghettos of Kingston, no matter where you are, the film makes it evident that reggae music is the heartbeat of the culture.

As we celebrate the upcoming theatrical production of The Harder They Come premiering for the first time in the United States at the Adrienne Arsht Center on August 29th, RiseUp reminds us that reggae continues to be the pulse and life blood of Jamaica.  Since the 1972 release of the Jimmy Cliff stared film The Harder They Come which swept like wild fire throughout the world that turned a local-grown roots music to the new rock’n’roll, RiseUp takes on the same premise of this classic move to the current times.    

Just like the lead character, Ivan Martin, RiseUp follows three various versions of Ivan’s character as each artist struggle in their own unique way for their chance at success.  The documentary goes far beyond the widely known Bob Marley and pop-reggae scene as Blotta takes his film crew to the island’s pulsing streets, captures raw talent at its best, and reveals a look into the roots of world phenomena with all the passion a camera can capture.   

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RiseUp director, Luciano Blotta, was on hand all three nights to answer any and all questions of his five year journey in creating this film.  Interestingly enough, Blotta admitted to his audience that he was never a reggae fan before he started RiseUp but now, he cannot listen to anything but reggae.

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A rare treat for the Miami audience, RiseUp offered a magical opportunity to immerse for 86 minutes in something truly pure and honest. Among a number of prominent recognitions, RiseUp has already won the Music Documentary Award at AFI/Discovery Channel’s prestigious SILVERDOCS festival in Washington, DC. 

Click here to check out more photos from the August 14-16th RiseUp weekend.  

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