Paramount’s Republic Pictures Acquires Homelessness-Themed Ballet Doc ‘Lift’ From Oscar Nominee David Petersen; Ballerina Misty Copeland Among The EPs

Paramount’s Republic Pictures Acquires Homelessness-Themed Ballet Doc ‘Lift’ From Oscar Nominee David Petersen; Ballerina Misty Copeland Among The EPs

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount’s Republic Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to the inspirational documentary Lift, from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Petersen, slating it for release via Paramount Global Content Distribution. In the U.S., the film will hit select theaters on September 15th and bow on digital on the 22nd. Pic will also soon hit the UK, debuting on digital on the 25th.

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Exec produced by world-renowned ballerina Misty Copeland, who also served as Principal Advisor, Lift shines a spotlight on the transformative power of dance and the invisible story of homelessness in America through young home-insecure ballet dancers and their mentor who inspires them at New York Theatre Ballet. Guided by Steven Melendez, whose journey leads back to his childhood shelter, their path within the LIFT scholarship program becomes a celebration of joy and triumph in the face of adversity.

Presented by Vulcan Productions and Beaufort 9 Films, in association with JustFilms | Ford Foundation and Catapult Film Fund, Lift world premiered at last year’s Tribeca Festival and went on to win Best Documentary at The San Francisco Dance Film Festival, as well as Shine Global Children’s Resilience in Film Award. Also featured as part of the Palm Springs Film Festival’s Best of Fest programming, the doc is produced by Mary Recine and Petersen. In addition to Copeland, EPs include Jody Allen, Ruth Johnson, Rocky Collins, Sam Pollard, Jannat Gargi, Lisa Kleiner Chanoff, Bonni Cohen and Megan Gelstein, as well as Jenny Lumet, Alex Kurtzman and Bruce Evans for Paramount/CBS 25 Stories. Leyla Fayyaz served as co-executive producer.

“LIFT demonstrates the power and importance of dance. The beauty and complexity in each of the stories told show that hope, resilience, and dance can be the lifeblood that saves lives,” said Copeland in a statement to Deadline. “I’m proud – and honored – to be a part of a creative team that understands why LIFT not only deserves to be celebrated in this way, but that it’s important to uplift the names, faces and journeys whose lives have changed as a result of this program.”

“Following the challenges and hopes of these incredible kids and their mentor, Steven Melendez, took almost 11 years,” added Petersen, “but the rewards of seeing how they transformed a classical art form to tell their own story was worth every minute.”

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