|Sent on:||Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7:46 AM|
INTERNATIONAL TEAM SPORT TO MAKE WORLD RECORD SETTING NEW YORK CITY DEBUT
150 Member Castellers de Vilafranca to Build First Eight Story Human Tower on a Rooftop
One of the world’s most unusual and spectacular team endeavors – the Spanish region of Catalonia’s three hundred year old tradition of building multi-storey human towers called castells – will make its New York City debut on June 20 at 230 FIFTH, when the 150 member Castellers de Vilafranca will attempt a new world record by building the first eight-level castell ever assembled on a rooftop. The performance, which will also include the building of several other towers in different configurations on 230 FIFTH’s palm punctuated roof deck, will inaugurate a series of free public castell buildings throughout New York City from June 20 to 24 in honor of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. Each tower will be an exercise in intense concentration, strength and balance as the bare footed participants form successively smaller tiers – resembling a human wedding cake – by climbing up the bodies of each layer to mount the shoulders of the previous tier until the tower is topped by a single 9 years old child. An almost balletic, decidedly athletic and heart-stopping feat orchestrated to the inspiring melodies of a quartet playing Catalonian music.
The series of performances will be the first by any castell team in New York City; the Castellers de Vilafranca, considered Spain’s best, have been planning for years to build in the Big Apple as a means of introducing to the United States the activity which UNESCO has recognized as being amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Their trip coincides with an official visit by President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas.
The Castellers de Vilfranca will perform in Central Park and Battery Park for the Make Music NY Festival on June 21st. They will also build a human tower at the United Nations on June 22nd and are scheduling other venues throughout the city including Times Square and Brooklyn Bridge. In addition, the team will participate in the presentation of the global documentary about their passion as practiced in Catalonia, Chile and India on June 22nd at Goldcrest Studios Theater, West Village. The Human Tower is directed by Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas and distributed by Goldcrest.
The record breaking roof building of a human tower by the Castellars Vilfranca at 230 FIFTH will take place at 8:15 p.m. again at 9:30 on June 20, with several different towers created by the team between 8:20 and 10. Like all of the team’s performances in New York City, the event will be free and open. 230 FIFTH is located at 230 Fifth Avenue at the corner of 27th Street, (212)[masked], www.230-fifth.com. The rooftop event is supported by Barcelona’s Estrella Damm Beer.
Ram Devineni, [address removed] / (646)[masked]
Shelley Clark, [address removed] / (646)[masked]
Lanny Grossman, [address removed] / (917)[masked]
June 20, 2012, 8 PM – 10 PM: 230 FIFTH is located at 230 Fifth Avenue at the corner of 27th Street, (212)[masked], FREE. www.230-fifth.com
June 21, 2012, 12 PM – 12:30 PM: Part of the Make Music Festival, Battery Park: Castle Clinton, FREE.
June 21, 2012, 4 PM – 4:30 PM: Part of the Make Music Festival, Central Park: Naumburg Bandshell, FREE.
June 23, 2012, 3 PM: Park across from the the United Nations, FREE. (pending, will have more info. soon)
Three countries. One passion. Three hundred bodies climbing, reaching the sky to build a human tower — all for a touch of glory. In Mumbai, India, Sandeep, a coach with high dreams and a debilitating case of malaria leads his team of men to break the record and build India’s biggest human tower at the one-day Dahi Handi Festival. In Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain, a group of “castellers”, or climbers formed by men, women and children, dedicate their lives to reach the heavens and share their passion with the world following a tradition that goes back 400 years. An old legendary coach, Melilla, takes his passion to Santiago, Chile, hoping to empower and help the local groups to improve their performances while unifying them as a community. Pressed for time, Melilla needs to prepare the Chilean team for their first public performance at the Universal Forum of Cultures in Valparaiso where they will attempt the first seven-level tower in Chile. Helped by Luis, a very passionate scholar and leader of this initiative in Chile, they develop a plan that will become a symbolic first step to rebuild Chilean society from the bottom up through the human towers. The film cuts between the three countries leading to a major climatic scene that will take your breath away and keep you on the edge of your seats.
In Santiago, Mumbai, and Vilafranca del Penedès, all it takes is one shaky foot and the human tower falls, sending hundreds of bodies tumbling in the rain or into the mud or onto the crumbling pavement of a forgotten neighborhood. But the makers of these human towers keep starting again for the glory of seeing how high, altogether, they can go. A passion beyond race, borders, and ages. A global story of fearless skills and heart-bounding suspense of immense human towers. (75 minute Feature Documentary)
OUR STORY IN MAKING THE MOVIE: Human towers are medicine for the soul. You risk your life for a moment of sublime camaraderie and community. Trust is paramount. All it takes is one shaky foot and the entire tower falls, sending you and hundreds of others tumbling into the air, onto each other and then onto the pavement. Building human towers is more than a quirky attraction, more than an international sport and more than a refuge for lost youth. It’s more even than a thirst for the glory of winning. A human tower, when done right, represents a unparalleled passion for human connection that goes beyond race, borders and ages. In this sense, the world’s best human tower builders represent all of us — all people, all communities, all nations — in our hope for a better future.
RAM DEVINENI is the founder of Rattapallax Films. Recently, produced Amir Naderi’s feature film, VEGAS: BASED ON A TRUE STORY, which premiered at the Venice & Tribeca Film Festivals and Beatriz Seigner’s feature movie, O SONHO BOLLYWOODIANO, which was released nationally in Brazil and shown at the Mostra Internacional de Cinema in Sao Paulo and the Pusan International Film Festival. In addition, a three-part travel documentary TV series called ON THE ROAD WITH BOB HOLMAN about endangered languages shot in West Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and showing on LINK TV. Besides films, Rattapallax publishes poetry books and DVDs and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Devineni is one of the founding partners of Academia Internacional de Cinema, the first independent film school in Brazil.
CANO ROJAS is a Chilean filmmaker and photographer with a strong documentary focus and a special interest in multicultural relations and global issues. He holds a MS in Global Affairs at New York University that complements and continue to influence his work as a filmmaker in places like Hawaii, Indonesia, Thailand and India to name a few. Currently he is working on his first fictional script about a story set in Mali, Africa and a new documentary following small farmers and rural communities in a few different countries.
GOLDCREST FILMS INTERNATIONAL
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