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Young People's Chorus of New York City's This Time Round Documentary to Premiere at Manhattan Film Festival


The world-renowned Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) proudly announces its documentary feature film, 'This Time Round,' will premiere at the 2024 Manhattan Film Festival on Friday, June 21st, at Cinema Village in NYC. Through song and the children's own voices, the film documents the choristers' moving and ultimately uplifting journey from fear and isolation during the early pandemic lockdown to unity and hope through the power of music.

NEW YORK, June 13, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The world-renowned Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) proudly announces that its documentary feature film, This Time Round, has been selected for the 2024 Manhattan Film Festival, taking place from June 13-23 at Cinema Village. This event will mark the film's U.S. premiere.

These young people's stories were so strikingly vivid and raw, I knew they needed to be connected to and interwoven with these 15 new compositions, fusing a multiplicity of perspectives, thoughts and feelings about this moment of crisis into one quilt of community experience," noted N˙˝ez.

Through song and the children's own voices, the film documents the choristers' moving and ultimately uplifting journey from fear and isolation during the early pandemic lockdown to unity and hope through the power of music.

View Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JwAktFYqQw

Founder and Artistic Director Francisco J. N˙˝ez realized that staying connected and continuing to sing during the pandemic was essential. He embarked on a collaborative journey with illustrious composers, asking each to create a "round," a musical term for a simple song with a repeating phrase, designed to be easily sung by the children over Zoom and on their phones. Showcasing nearly 600 children ages eight to 18, the film's 15 vignettes chronicle this singular challenge, conveying the children's isolation, yearning, and ultimately joy.

The project initially debuted as an art exhibit in Manhattan's Chelsea district to support students' mental health during COVID-19. N˙˝ez then enlisted social impact filmmaker Ansley Sawyer to create a feature film documenting the personal stories of the choristers and the composers' profound exploration of resilience and hope.

"I am incredibly honored that the film was selected and that the voices and perspectives of our youth will be shared with audiences at the Manhattan Film Festival," said N˙˝ez, the choir's founder and artistic director who also served as co-director and producer of the film.

"These young people's stories were so strikingly vivid and raw, I knew they needed to be connected to and interwoven with these 15 new compositions, fusing a multiplicity of perspectives, thoughts and feelings about this moment of crisis into one quilt of community experience.

"Contrary to misconceptions at the time, the impact of the pandemic on children's mental health cannot be overestimated," noted N˙˝ez. "The film serves as a visual testament to these composers' and young artists' struggles and triumphs: from the depths of isolation to their gradual reemergence into a changed world. Through the lens of the camera, we witness the resilience of 600 children, finding solace in music and sharing their voices with the world."

The Manhattan Film Festival has become one of the largest, truly independent film festivals in the world. MFF has a 17-year history of fearless programming. The 18th annual Manhattan Film Festival will be hosted at Cinema Village, just steps from Union Square.

This Time Round's U.S. premiere will take place Friday, June 21 at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased for $12 at https://www.manhattanff.com/view-screening/1848.

ASSETS AVAILABLE: Press Screeners, Exclusive Clips, High Resolution Still Images, Production Notes available upon request

Website: https://ypcfilms.org/thistimeroundfilm/

View Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JwAktFYqQw

For more information about YPC, please visit YPC.org.

About This Time Round

Amidst the backdrop of a pandemic-stricken New York City, witness the unwavering passion and determination of a youth chorus as they strive to keep their art alive against all odds. Through poignant storytelling and original music from key contemporary composers, this documentary captures the resilience, creativity, and indomitable spirit of a generation of young musicians, navigating through unprecedented times, proving that even in the darkest moments, music has the power to unite, heal, and inspire.

About Filmmakers

PRODUCER, CO-DIRECTOR - Francisco J. N˙˝ez

Francisco J. N˙˝ez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America's 2018 Educator of the Year, is a composer, conductor, producer, director, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC), renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Since he founded YPC, N˙˝ez has established recognition among composers of the child's voice as a significant instrument for making music.

Among his many awards and honors are ASCAP's Victor Herbert Award, the New York Choral Society's Choral Excellence Award, and Bang on a Can's Visionary Award. In 2023, he received an Emmy« Award for Artistic Direction of the feature-length holiday special Topsy Turvy New York. The year prior, he won an Emmy« Award for Holiday Jingles, a holiday commercial he composed for WNJU Telemundo 47. He most recently produced and co-directed the documentary film This Time Round.

NYU Steinhardt has presented him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award, and he holds honorary Doctor of Music degrees from both Ithaca College and Gettysburg College.

CO-DIRECTOR - Ansley Sawyer

Ansley Sawyer is a semi-nomadic film director and producer. A speaker, advocate, and entrepreneur, her docu-vÚritÚ work has been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks, BBC, National Geographic, and TEDx. She specializes in run-and-gun filmmaking, producing difficult-to-access human stories around the world. She integrates her sensitivity for documentary production within the world of commercial videography as Founder and Creative Director of her company Freehand Films.

About Young People's Chorus of New York City

The Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC) is a multicultural youth chorus internationally renowned for its superb virtuosity, brilliant showmanship, and innovative model of diversity. Founded by Artistic Director Francisco J. N˙˝ez, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America's 2018 Educator of the Year, YPC's mission and values are deeply rooted in providing children of all cultural and economic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance. YPC is committed to uplifting our youth and providing pathways to success through the arts so that each child, no matter what race, gender, socioeconomic background, or religion can reach their full potential. Among YPC's many awards is America's highest honor for youth programs, a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which was presented to members of YPC at the White House. In 2023, YPC won five gold medals ? three as World Champions ? at the 12th World Choir Games in the Republic of Korea. Under the direction of YPC's Creative Director, Elizabeth N˙˝ez, YPC also earned the distinction of "Choir of the World" in July 2018 at the International Choral Kathaumixw (Powell River, British Columbia), marking the first time a North American chorus has ever won this title in the 34-year history of Kathaumixw. www.ypc.org.

This Time Round Composers

Samuel Adler, Derek Bermel, Thomas Cabaniss, Paquito D'Rivera, Aneesa Folds, Gordon Getty, Michael Gordon, Michael Harrison, Ted Hearne, Yuka Honda, David Lang, Elizabeth N˙˝ez, Francisco J. N˙˝ez, Jim Papoulis, and Paola Prestini.

Media Contact

Laura Gigounas, Glodow Nead Communications, 1 415-203-2802, [email protected], www.glodownead.com

SOURCE The Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC)


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