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Documentary Feature  





Throw Down Your Heart
Directed by
Sascha Paladino
USA / 2008 / 97 minutes

English, Lusogan, Swahili, Jola, Bambarra, French, with subtitles
Screening Times and Venues:
Bearsville Theater
10/02/2008, 12PM
Upstate Films II
10/03/2008, 9PM
Bela Fleck makes his mastery of the banjo seem effortless, yet he meets his match in exuberance and sheer musicality as he travels through Africa to reestablish the origins of his instrument and "make great music." His journey through Uganda, Tanzania, Gambia and Mali is both an opportunity to play and record with notable musicians while simultaneously dispelling some of the negative myths about Africa. "Music is in every aspect of everything that one does," we are told and, indeed, the fabric of African life is woven in rhythms so contagious, themes so universal, they seep into the soul. The cinematography is as lush and sensual as the cultures it records, and brisk editing maintains a pace consistent with the music. When we are taken to the shores where the slave ships came to execute their ghastly missions, the title, "Throw Down Your Heart" takes on new meaning. (Barbara Pokras, A.C.E)
Sascha Paladino is a filmmaker and writer. His documentary short, "Obstinato: Making Music for Two" (2004), about the musicians Bela Fleck and Edgar Meyer, premiered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, won the Best Documentary Short Award at the Woodstock Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Newport Film Festival, played at the Full Frame Film Festival and Nashville Film Festival, and was released on DVD by Sony Classical.

Sascha's other documentary shorts include "Party For the People" (2005), about a communist rockabilly band in Northern Italy, showed at Woodstock Film Festival and Newport Film Festival, and "The Subway Line" (2002), about a guerilla subway artist in New York City played at the Mill Valley Film Festival and Florida Film Festival.

Sascha is also an Emmy-nominated writer and producer for children's television. He is head writer and producer of "Ni Hao, Kai-lan" on Nick Jr, and has written and for programs including "Wonder Pets," "Blue's Clues," "ToddWorld," and many others. He has worked for companies including Nickelodeon, The Discovery Channel, Disney, Noggin, the BBC, and Granada UK. Sascha is also involved in many facets of arts education and has taught and developed workshops for arts organizations, public schools and prisons.

Cast/Featuring: Bela Fleck, Haruna Walusimbi, Anania Ngoliga, The Jatta Family, Oumou Sangare, Djelimady Tounkara, Bassekou Kouyate, and many others.
Producer(s): Bela Fleck and Sascha Paladino
Director(s): Sascha Paladino
Cinematographer(s): Kirsten Johnson
Editor(s): Scott A. Burgess, Bela Fleck and Sascha Paladino
Sound Editor(s): Bela Fleck


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