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RIO UPHILL - Part I is an avant-garde, independent film that came as a result of the COVID pandemic. It is based on the stage musical RIO UPHILL. 

As Online Streaming took off as an outlet for theater productions (Hamilton on Disney+), many of these works were filmed archivals of live performances. We wanted to take it a step further and create a hybrid between theater and film for a more dynamic viewing experience never seen before.

Inspired by Spike Lee’s “PASS OVER” and Lars von Trier’s “DOGVILLE”,  RIO UPHILL was shot on a single stage using minimalist production design and cinematic techniques, striving to push the boundaries on how theater and film can be seen by worldwide audiences. 

The story focuses on Brazil’s racial and class barriers, the corruption and rampant crime in their favelas and the need for change, while still highlighting Brazilian culture and musical styles.

The film was originated in NYC by a diverse international creative team of Brazilians (Actors, Director, Writer, Composer, Music Director and Choreographer), Americans (Writer, Composer and Choreographer), Venezuelan (Director of Photography), Italian (Cinematographer), Bolivian (Film Editor), among others. 


The stage musical on which the film is based has been a recipient of many awards and honors. It is endorsed by the Brazilian Consulate of New York for its originality and message. 

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