Recognized as the Best Feature Film at the 2016 Glass City Film Festival and included as an Official Selection of the 2016 Cleveland Urban Film Festival, the Montreal Cinefest, the Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival and New York Film Week, Up This Hill
documents the trip a group of Northeast Ohio teenagers take to Harlan, Kentucky to perform service work and learn about rural poverty.
“This documentary records the 12th year that we have taken high school students to Kentucky,” says Dr. Annemarie Grassi, CEO of Open Doors Academy, in a press release announcing that the academy will host a free screening of the movie at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Cedar Lee Theatre. “We wanted to record their journey and document their growth in a way that has never been done before. These adolescents come from inner-ring suburbs and from the city of Cleveland. They learned that poverty can look vastly different than what they’ve experienced in their own neighborhoods. We wanted to document that.”
The film’s director Paul Sobota recently received a Creative Workforce Fellowship. He used the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture funded grant to make the movie.
“A little over a year and a half ago, I went down to Harlan with a small crew of 20 scholars from [Open Doors Academy] and a few of their most important mentors to document their annual service trip,” he says. “The result was a feature length documentary that was not about 20 kids rebuilding houses, but about a group of kids — a family — building each other up.”
“All of our community partners — from the schools we work with to our corporate sponsors and foundation support — have been wonderful to us throughout the years,” adds Grassi. “Sharing this documentary is our way of paying their generosity and support forward to the larger community.”
Tickets to the film are free but you must RVSP