CFCA news

'Rise and Dream' resonates with festival crowd

February 13, 2012

Rise and Dream world premiere Q-and-A
From left, "Rise and Dream" film team members Barclay Martin,
Paul Pearce, Judy-Anne Goldman and Michele Batliner take
questions from the audience after the world premiere.

DENTON, Texas – CFCA's feature-length documentary film, "Rise and Dream," had its world premiere Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Thin Line Film Fest in Denton, Texas.

About 150 festival attendees were treated to the debut of the film, which CFCA made to raise awareness of the potential that exists within families living in poverty. In attendance were residents of Denton and the Dallas/Fort Worth area, along with a number of CFCA sponsors from several states who made the trip to see the film.

"Rise and Dream" was one of the best attended screenings in the festival's five-year history, according to Thin Line Program Director Kim Stanton. The audience gave film team members a standing ovation following the Q-and-A session at the end of the screening.

"We were overwhelmed with the audience reaction," said Judy-Anne Goldman, who directed the film and serves as CFCA's multimedia manager. "It was exciting for us to be able to share this special story with others and know that the message of determination and hope resonated with the viewers."

"Rise and Dream" follows the story of 13 teenagers living with the challenges of poverty in a volatile region of the Philippines. The teens volunteer to learn the music traditions of their culture for a once-in-a-lifetime concert in front of 10,000 members of their community.

The 1 p.m. screening began with a special introduction and performance by Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby. Martin, a singer/songwriter from Kansas City, Mo., traveled to the Philippines as guest music director for the concert documented in the film and served as the composer for the film score.

Barclay Martin at Rise and Dream world premiere
Barclay Martin, singer/songwriter and composer for the
"Rise and Dream" film score, performs before the
screening at the Thin Line Film Fest.

After the screening, audience members had the opportunity to ask the film team questions. Several attendees voiced their appreciation for the film's inspirational story.

"Too often documentary films in general are such downers," Thin Line Festival Director Joshua Butler said, "so it's important to have films that bring this type of positive message to our community."

CFCA sponsor Tim Johnson of Keller, Texas, thanked CFCA for making "Rise and Dream," saying the film made a big impact on the audience and brought the Philippines to those attending the screening.

"It was awesome," Johnson said. "We're a sponsor of a young girl in the Philippines. Just seeing the kids in their environment reinforces that what we're doing is something that needs to be done."

In the film, Johnson said he appreciated seeing youth in the CFCA program who are from diverse religious backgrounds living together peacefully.

"It is really good you guys promote that ... to bring these kids together and see that you can be your own person and live together (in peace)," he said.

Audience member Lucy McCauley said she wants her 9-year-old daughter to see the film, and said that every child in America should see it.

"This is something that is going to make a difference in the world," McCauley said.

CFCA hopes to have the opportunity to show the film at more festivals this spring before distributing it to wider audiences, including CFCA sponsors.

"This was a great welcome for the film into the public," Goldman said. "We hope that this audience was the first of many audiences worldwide who will see the film during the coming years. This was an important first step in the film's journey."

For the latest film news and updates, subscribe to the monthly "Rise and Dream" eNewsletter.

(Related links: Read the Denton Record-Chronicle's article about the world premiere and a review by the features editor.)

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