Monday, May 19, 2008

Texas homecoming @ AFI DALLAS Int'l Film Fest

This entry is long overdue, especially considering that screening at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival was such an important homecoming for us. USA Jump Rope (the league that the film follows) is based in Huntsville, RazzMaTazz (one of the key teams followed in the film) hails from Houston, and Texas is home to more jump rope teams than any other region in the world. All of this combined to give us a real Texas style premiere...meaning hospitable and BIG!

PUMA made it all the more special by sponsoring us. They outfitted almost 20 jumpers in super slick track suits and hosted a jump rope show at the Puma Store in North Park Center. Here is a link to a cool video VIMBY produced at the event...16,000 people watched it the first week they posted it on myspace.

Our first screening kicked off Family Day. They played JUMP! outside on two gigantic screens simultaneously (awesome!) in a fair-like atmosphere with face-painting, games, clowns, etc. The extravaganza took place at Victory Plaza, where the city's biggest sporting and entertainment events take place. A festival producer said that our screening was the second most well-attended ever in this spot...behind "Raiders of the Lost Ark". Someday, maybe a jump rope competition will fill the stadium??

After the screening, jumpers from five different teams in Texas
-- RazzMatazz, High Velocity, ZZ Skipers, Jumpin' Jammers and Palpitations -- put on a big, high-energy show followed by a workshop to teach locals -- both were projected live on the big screens around the plaza. Thanks to all who participated & helped organize. Turns out that this was the first time that Nick's grandma ever saw him jump in person!

Other festival highlights: seeing MC Frontalot perform, watching the wickedly funny doc Nerdcore Rising (request a screening in your area on their website!), a raucous post-screening Q&A for "Battle in Seattle," and seeing the truly spectacular The Polyphonic Spree. Holy cow. I wish I could hold on to -- and share -- that exuberant radiance.

polyphonic spree @ house of blues,
afi dallas international film festival closing night party


Anonymous said...

I'm so grateful that we got see JUMP! It was inspiring to see the creativity, passion and commitment the kids have. When we got home, my daughter took out my old exercise jump rope and was trying to do the tricks taught at the event. My son saw the speed competition and wanted to see if he could even jump as fast as Tori… and he also wants to learn the tricks too. Please pass on the great impression the jumpers and the movie had on us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for allowing us to see your movie.

Like most people, I have some exposure to skipping rope. I recall my Dad using it to train for a mile run c. 1952. I wonder if he picked it up as a means of keeping fit while on board ship, a troop ship en route from Australia to Europe in the Second World War.

Have you ever seen Sonny Liston skipping to “Night Train”? A slow, cumbersome looking fighter, he was suddenly transformed into a dancer. Sugar Ray Leonard was also noted for his skipping abilities.

David Ponsonby