Austin, Texas is known for our outstanding South by Southwest Film/Music Festival. As a part of this annual happening, last week I attended the world premier of the documentary film When I Rise, an official selection of the 2010 SXSW Film Festival. When I Rise is co-produced by my long-time dear friend, Ramona Kelly, of whom I couldn’t be prouder.
Here’s a synopsis:
…A gifted black music student at the University of Texas is thrust into a civil rights storm that changes her life forever. Barbara Smith Conrad is cast in an opera to co-star with a white male classmate, fueling a racist backlash from members of the Texas legislature. When Barbara is expelled from the cast, the incident escalates to national news, prompting unexpected support from a pop superstar.
This small-town girl, whose voice and spirit stem from her roots in East Texas, emerges as an internationally celebrated mezzo-soprano and headlines on stages around the world.
When I Rise is an inspirational journey toward finding forgiveness within oneself.
Hopefully When I Rise will be coming soon to a theatre near you. You must see this outstanding, heartfelt story of life, love, set backs and serenity, all embodied in the amazing persona of Barbara Smith Conrad. It’s a 2010 must-see.