Uniting the Children of Uganda Through Breakdance and Hip Hop Culture
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Award-winning film Bouncing Cats, the inspiring documentary of one man’s attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda through hip hop, is on the festival circuit making its way around North America along with limited engagement screenings and benefit events. Narrated by Common and featuring interviews with Will.I.Am, and K’Naan, the story follows the legendary Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew and b-boy Abramz, the founder of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU), on a journey to unify, empower and inspire youth in the war torn region that has been called one of the worst places on earth to be a child.* The film, by director Nabil Elderkin, recently won “Best Documentary Feature Film” at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York, “Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking” at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and “Audience Favorite Award” at Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival. To learn more about the film, please visit http://www.bouncingcats.com and http://www.facebook.com/bouncingcats.
“Bouncing Cats is just the sort of work that the world needs to see coming out of Africa, a story of self-reliance and perseverance against immeasurable odds,” said K’naan.
Breakdance Project Uganda started in February 2006 by Abraham “Abramz” Tekya out of the belief that hip hop can be used as a tool to engage and empower disadvantaged youth in Kampala and other areas of Uganda. Its mission is to engage young people in hip hop culture in order to build leadership skills and promote social responsibility for positive change. The Project has attracted people from every walk of life and acts as a catalyst for building mutually beneficial relationships between people of different social strata across Uganda and the rest of the world. After a trip to Uganda with NGO Oxfam, where he met Abramz, director Elderkin decided to make the film with the hope of shedding light on the situation. “The work Abramz is doing with the kids of Uganda inspired me,” said Elderkin. “It was something I wanted to capture and share with others.”
Bouncing Cats is screening on the festival circuit and at special sneak peek events across North America. Key screenings include:
- Apr. 17 - Newport Beach Film Festival - Newport Beach, CA -Aug. 21 -DocuFest Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival - Atlanta, GA - Sep. 17, 18 - Urbanworld Film Festival - New York, NY -Sep. 17-19 -DocUtah -Southern Utah Int'l Documentary Film Festival -St. George, UT - Sep. 22 - Manifesto Film Fest - Toronto, ON - Sep. 23 - Montreal International Black Film Festival - Montreal, QC - Oct. 8-10 - BendFilm - Bend, OR - Oct. 16, 17, 19, 22 - Heartland Truly Moving Pictures - Indianapolis, IN -Oct. 18, 24 -Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival -Hot Springs National Park, AR - Oct. 30 - MoogFest - Asheville, NC - Nov. 3 - USC Albert & Dana Broccoli Theatre - Los Angeles, CA** - Nov. 4, 7 - American Film Market (AFM) - Santa Monica, CA - Nov. 7 - Hartford International Film Festival - Hartford, CT - Nov. 9 - National Geographic LIVE! - Washington, DC ** - Nov. 11 - Rice University - Houston, TX** - Nov. 16 - Downtown Independent - Los Angeles, CA ** - Nov. 17 - Hard Rock Cafe - Las Vegas, NV** - Nov. 19 - Arizona State University - Tempe, AZ** - Nov. 20 - Lone Star Film Festival - Fort Worth, TX - Nov. 20 - Decatur High School Performing Arts Center - Decatur, GA
** These screenings include Q&A sessions with the filmmakers, Crazy Legs, and other cast members from the documentary.
Please visit the Bouncing Cats site for additional screening announcements at http://www.bouncingcats.com/screenings.
Bouncing Cats Cast:
Abraham “Abramz” Tekya:
Abraham Tekya, commonly known as “Abramz,” is the director and founder of Breakdance Project Uganda, an organization launched in February 2006 that uses breakdance and other elements of hip hop culture to promote positive change and social responsibility. A native of Mengo, Kampala, Uganda, Abramz grew up quickly, as most children in Uganda are forced to. At the age of seven, he lost both of his parents to AIDS and was orphaned, shuffled between distant relatives and different homes. Despite these circumstances, Abramz used his life experience and love of hip hop to educate, inspire and unite youth in Uganda and beyond. http://www.bouncingcats.com/cast/tekya.php
Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon:
To call Richard “Crazy Legs” Colon a pioneer is an understatement. It is nearly impossible to have a conversation about b-boying without giving mention to the legendary Crazy Legs. Not only is he a veteran of hip hop as a culture, boasting more than 3 decades as the driving force behind the hip hop dance movement, but he’s also an outstanding citizen and role model. He has lent his time, experience, and influence to aiding and encouraging the positive advancement of hip hop culture. http://www.bouncingcats.com/cast/crazylegs.php
Jolly Grace Okot:
Jolly Grace Okot has been involved with Invisible Children (IC) since the beginning of the organization. Her guidance enabled Bouncing Cats‘filmmakers to see and understand the plight of children in Northern Uganda, and her leadership and direction helped create IC’s initiatives on the ground. Okot also runs H.E.A.L.S., a program that provides play therapy for war-affected children.
Additional details on cast members are available at http://www.bouncingcats.com/cast.
Additional Credits & Film Details:
Bouncing Cats was produced by Red Bull Media House. All proceeds from the film are going to Breakdance Project Uganda.
Nabil Elderkin, Director:
Director Nabil Elderkin, originally a native of Australia, began his photography career when he picked up a camera to shoot portraits of fellow surfers. What started as a hobby, rapidly developed into a working career. From surf portraits, Elderkin began shooting musicians and anyone that inspired him. He later moved to the United States to continue to expand his career. Today, Elderkin lives and works in Los Angeles at his studio downtown. He shoots musicians, sports, fashion, and portraiture. Elderkin has recently published a book titled Glow in the Dark with Kanye West through Rizzoli and has directed several music videos and documentaries from here to Africa. Traveling is his passion. He created the film in order to bring attention to the situation in Uganda as well as support the inspiring work Abramz is doing through BPU. http://www.nabil.com
-Executive Producers: Amy Taylor, Scotty Bradfield, Karma Gardner, Charlie Rosene -Producers: Nyla Hassell, George Mays, Claude Merkel, Charles Spano - Film Editing: Isaac Hagy - Sound Editor: Andrew Le Guier - Genre: Documentary / Music - Runtime: 75 minutes - Country: USA - Language: English - Color: Color - Filming Locations: Uganda, USA
Awards: ------- -Newport Film Festival "Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking" - Urbanworld Film Festival "Best Documentary Feature Film" -DocUtah -Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival "Audience Favorite Award"
“In short – the movie features some serious hip hop cameos, incredible landscapes, and dancing, and is certain to be one of the most celebrated documentaries of 2010.” -Chris Farone, Boston Phoenix
Bouncing Cats Links: -------------------- -Official Site: -Twitter: http://twitter.com/ http://www.bouncingcats.com bouncingcats -Facebook: www.facebook.com/ -Trailer: http://vimeo.com/ bouncingcats 12234800
* Former UNICEF head Carol Bellamy has called northern Uganda “pretty much the worst place on earth to be a child;” over 20,000 children – some as young as six years old – have been abducted by the rebel-led Lords Resistance Army (LRA), forced to serve as child soldiers, sex slaves and laborers. http://www.warchild.org/projects/WC_Canada/Uganda/uganda.html
SOURCE Red Bull Media House