Award-winning film Bouncing Cats, the inspiring story of one man’s attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda through hip hop, makes its US television premiere on Documentary Channel Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. (EST/PST). The film, narrated by Common and featuring interviews with will.i.am and K’Naan, follows the legendary Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew and b-boy Abramz, the founder of Breakdance Project Uganda (BPU), on a journey to unify, empower and inspire youth in the war torn region that has been called one of the worst places on earth to be a child. The film, produced by Red Bull Media House and directed by Australian filmmaker and photographer Nabil Elderkin, toured the film festival circuit in 2010 and 2011, earning awards along the way at Urbanworld Film Festival, Newport Beach Film Festival, and Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival, among others. Proceeds from the film benefit BPU.
“Bouncing Cats is just the sort of work that the world needs to see coming out of Africa, a story of self-reliance and perseverance against immeasurable odds,” says K’naan.
Encore presentations of Bouncing Cats will air on Documentary Channel November 19, 2011 at 11:00 p.m.; November 25, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.; December 29, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.; January 26, 2011 at 9:30 p.m. and January 27th at 12:30 a.m. All times are EST. Documentary Channel is available on DISH Network (Channel 197) and DirecTV (Channel 267).
UNITING THE CHILDREN OF UGANDA THROUGH BREAKDANCE & HIP HOP CULTURE
Breakdance Project Uganda started in February 2006 by Abraham “Abramz” Tekya out of the belief that hip hop can be used as a tool to engage and empower disadvantaged youth in Kampala and other areas of Uganda. Its mission is to engage young people in hip hop culture in order to build leadership skills and promote social responsibility for positive change. The Project has attracted people from every walk of life and acts as a catalyst for building mutually beneficial relationships between people of different social strata across Uganda and the rest of the world. After a trip to Uganda with NGO Oxfam, and a chance meeting with Abramz, director Elderkin felt compelled to share Abramz’ story with the hope of shedding light on the situation and motivating viewers to help.
“The work Abramz is doing with the kids of Uganda inspired me,” said Elderkin. “It was something I wanted to capture and share with others.”
Over the past five years, BPU has partnered with not only Oxfam, but also local and international organizations including: MS Uganda, In Movement, People Concern Children’s Project, Danish Centre for Cultural Development, H.E.A.L.S. (Gulu), Global Youth Partnership for Africa, the Embassy of France in Uganda, Uganda FDNC, USAID/NUTI, Straight Talk Foundation (STF), and has carried out activities in orphanages, juvenile prisons, local and international schools, and youth and community centers. Details on BPU, the situation in Uganda and how to donate can be found here.
“In short – the movie features some serious hip hop cameos, incredible landscapes, and dancing.” – Chris Farone, Boston Phoenix
“Bouncing Cats refers to the sound made by the kids in Uganda when they have no access to a boombox,” Elderkin explains, shedding light on the film’s title, “They sing the words ‘bouncing cats, baboons and cats’ in repetition to create their own beat – I was quite taken by it.”
Abraham “Abramz” Tekya –
Abraham Tekya, commonly known as “Abramz,” is the director and founder of Breakdance Project Uganda, an organization launched in February 2006 that uses breakdance and other elements of hip hop culture to promote positive change and social responsibility. A native of Mengo, Kampala, Uganda, Abramz grew up quickly, as most children in Uganda are forced to. At the age of seven, he lost both of his parents to AIDS and was orphaned, shuffled between distant relatives and different homes. Despite these circumstances, Abramz used his life experience and love of hip hop to educate, inspire and unite youth in Uganda and beyond. http://www.bouncingcats.com/cast/tekya.php
Richard “Crazy Legs” Colòn –
To call Richard “Crazy Legs” Colòn a pioneer is an understatement. It is nearly impossible to have a conversation about b-boying without giving mention to the legendary Crazy Legs. Not only is he a veteran of hip hop as a culture, boasting more than 3 decades as the driving force behind the hip hop dance movement, but he’s also an outstanding citizen and role model. He has lent his time, experience, and influence to aiding and encouraging the positive advancement of hip hop culture. http://www.bouncingcats.com/cast/crazylegs.php
Jolly Grace Okot –
Jolly Grace Okot, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was among the first wave of children abducted and forced to be a child soldier in the beginning of Uganda’s civil war. She is the Uganda Country director for Invisible Children (IC) and has been involved with the organization since the beginning. Her guidance enabled Bouncing Cats‘ filmmakers to see and understand the plight of children in Northern Uganda, and her leadership and direction helped create IC’s initiatives on the ground. Okot also runs H.E.A.L.S., a program that provides play therapy for war-affected children.