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Throw Down Your Heart Poster

THROW DOWN YOUR HEART

Directed by Sascha Paladino
2008, 97 minutes

Click on link below to view trailer:

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Trailer Flash Video 3.6 Mb

“Throw Down Your Heart” follows American banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck on his journey to Africa to explore the little known African roots of the banjo and record an album.  It’s a boundary-breaking musical adventure that celebrates the beauty and complexity of Africa – an Africa that is very different from what is often seen in the media today.

As Ugandan folk musician Haruna Walusimbi states in the film:  “There is this negative thinking about Africa.  There is nothing good in Africa.  They are beggars, there is HIV/AIDS, they are at war all the time.  But that is just a very small bit of what Africa is.”  Béla’s trip provides a glimpse into the incredibly rich and diverse musical traditions of Africa.

At first glance, it might seem odd that the banjo is the catalyst for this journey.  But in fact, the banjo is originally an African instrument.  And Béla Fleck’s passion for the banjo runs deep.  In his trailblazing 30-year career, Béla has brought the instrument into jazz, pop, classical, and world music settings, and won eight Grammys along the way (not to mention the 20 nominations, in more distinct categories than anyone else, ever).

Ever since he started playing music, Béla heard stories about where the banjo came from.  To many, the banjo is seen as a uniquely American instrument – and even conjures images of white Southern stereotypes.  But the banjo is actually a descendant of an African instrument.  West Africans have long played an instrument that looks and sounds much like the banjo.  When slave traders captured West Africans, many of the slaves brought that instrument, and the knowledge of how to make it, to the United States.  On plantations in the American South, slaves were not allowed to play drums, but they were allowed to play the banjo.  Soon, whites started copying it, and the banjo evolved into the instrument we know today – and became a part of American culture.  Béla wanted to go to Africa to trace the roots of the banjo, the instrument that defines who he is.

But Béla’s journey was also motivated by a deep love of African music.  Béla was inspired by music from all across the continent, and very often he could hear a place for his banjo.  When Béla had a year off from his band, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, he realized it was the perfect opportunity to follow his dream – travel to Africa to collaborate with African musicians.

“Throw Down Your Heart” is a feature documentary that follows Béla’s musical adventures through four African countries:  Uganda, Tanzania, The Gambia, and Mali.  Along the way, he works with a wide array of musicians – from local villagers who play a twelve-foot xylophone, to a family that makes and plays the akonting (thought by many to be the original banjo), to international superstars such as the Malian diva Oumou Sangare.

As Béla travels across Africa, he forges both musical and personal connections.  Using his banjo, he transcends barriers of language and culture, finding common ground with musicians from very different backgrounds and creating some of the most meaningful music of his career.

Reviews

"an exhilarating feast of sight and sound" LA TIMES

"you don’t need to know the language to be gripped by the force..." NEW YORK TIMES

"vibrant and spontaneous..." FILM THREAT

"a heartfelt personal journey...refreshing" VILLAGE VOICE

"both the documentary and the disc of Throw Down Your Heart justify their existence independently—and rather beautifully." TIME OUT NEW YORK

"demonstrates that no other language is needed when two people sit down with their instruments and make them sing." SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"a pure delight" SEATTLE TIMES

"A fantastic musical documentary." AIN'T IT COOL NEWS

"You'll just have to hear it for yourself." POPMATTERS.COM

 

 

Online Press Kit (PDF 268 k)
Stills (hi-res)


winner

BEST MUSIC DOC

SILVER DOCS

OFFICIAL SELECTION
IDFA
WINNER
AUDIENCE AWARD
South by Southwest

winner

AUDIENCE AWARD

VANCOUVER FILM FESTIVAL

UPCOMING Screenings

October 3, 2014

The Cary Downtown Theater

Cary, NC

The Cary Downtown Theater

Recent Screenings

May 4, 2013

Power of Music Film Festival

Portsmouth, Rhode Island

http://www.audibleearth.org/

February 27, 2013

Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

Halifax, Nova Scotia

http://www.pier21.ca/home/

January 31, 2012

Red House Arts Center

Syracuse, NY

http://www.theredhouse.org

October 12, 2011

Duke Performances @ Carolina Theatre

Durham, NC

http://dukeperformances.duke.edu/

August 12, 13, 2001
The Charles
Johnson City, TN
http://www.thecharlesjc.com/
April 28 & May 12, 2011

Arts Quest Center at Steel Stacks

Bethlehem, PA

http://www.artsquest.org/steelstacks/

May 25, 2011

The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

Louisville, KY

http://www.kentuckycenter.org/

Sascha Paladino in person!

March 20, 2011 - 2pm - FREE SCREENING!

Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago, IL

Reel Music Film Series

http://www.chicagoculturalcenter.org

March 2-4, 2011

I Luv Africa Film Series

City College

New York, NY

http://rwul.com/cms/

February 28, 2011

Middle Tennessee State University

Murfreesboro, TN

Part of Black History Month

http://www.mtsu.edu

February 22, 2009

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

Missoula, MT

http://www.bigskyfilmfest.org

March 13-19, 2009

Elmwood Theater

Berkeley, CA

http://www.rialtocinemas.com/index.php?location=elmwood

Dir. Sascha Paladino and Béla Fleck in person Sat(afternoon)

March 13-April 5, 2009

Roxie Film Center

San Francisco, CA

http://www.roxie.com

Dir. Sascha Paladino and Béla Fleck in person Fri(13) & Sat(14)

March 28, 29, 2009
Goggle Works

Reading, PA
http://www.goggleworks.org/

April 10-16, 2009

Tivoli Cinemas

Kansas City, MO

http://www.tivolikc.com

April 16, 2009
AFI Silver

Silver Spring, MD
http://www.afi.com/silver/new/

April 17-19, 2009

Kentucky Theatre

Lexington, KY

www.kentuckytheater.com

April 30, 2009
Cinema Arts Centre

Huntington, NY

http://www.cinemaartscentre.org/
Director Sascha Paladino and Béla Fleck in person

May 1, 2009

Bay Area Film Society

Washburn, WI

http://bayareafilmsociety.org

HELD OVER!

April 24-May 14, 2009

IFC Center

New York, NY

http://www.ifccenter.com

May 1-7, 2009

Sag Harbor Cinema

Sag Harbor, NY

www.sagharborcinema.com

May 8, 2009
Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland, OH
http://www.clevelandart.org/

May 11, 2009

Epcor Center for the Performing Arts-Movies that Matter Series

Calgary-Alberta, Canada

http://moviesthatmatter.org

May 27, 2009

Fundy Film Society

Wolfville, Nova Scotia

www.fundyfilm.ca

May 28, 2009

SPACE Gallery

Portland, ME

http://www.space538.org

 

HELD OVER!

May 29 - June 10, 2009
Myrna Loy Center

Helena, MT
www.myrnaloycenter.com

June 5-11, 2009
Webster University Film Series

St. Louis, MO
http://www.webster.edu/filmseries/index.htm

June 5-11, 2009

Laemmle's Music Hall

Los Angeles, CA

http://www.laemmle.com/viewtheatre.php?thid=4

Béla Fleck & Dir. Sascha Paladino in person 6/5 & 6/6

June 12-14, 2009
Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Houston, TX
http://www.mfah.org/

Sat June 13 & Sun June 14 @ 11am
Laemmle's Monica 4-plex
1332 2nd Street
Santa Monica, 90401
310-394-9741
http://www.laemmle.com/viewtheatre.php?thid=3

HELD OVER!

June 5-18, 2009
Lyric Cinema

Ft. Collins, CO
http://www.lyriccinemacafe.com/

June 12-18, 2009
Savoy Theater

Montpelier, VT
http://www.savoytheater.com/

June 15,17,19 2009
Cornell Cinema

Ithaca, NY
http://cinema.cornell.edu/

 

June 19, 20, 21, 2009

Jean Cocteau Theater

Santa Fe, NM

www.santafefilmfestival.com/Movie_Listings

June 19-28, 2009

Mos' Art Theatre

Lake Park, FL

http://www.mosarttheatre.com/

June 24, 2009
The Loft Cinema

Tuscon, AZ
http://www.loftcinema.com/

June 18-July 2, 2009
Denver Film Society

Denver, CO
http://www.denverfilm.org/

Director Sascha Paladino in person June 18

July 1-5, 2009
Geneva 4 Theatre

Lake Geneva, WI
http://www.novacinemas.com/

July 1-5, 2009
The Amp

Oxford, MI
http://www.novacinemas.com/

July 1-5, 2009
Nova 10

Des Moines, IA
http://www.novacinemas.com/

July 1-5, 2009
Nova 6 Cinemas

Moline, IL
http://www.novacinemas.com/

July 2-5, 2009
Community Arts Center

Williamsport, PA.
http://www.caclive.com/

July 2-3, 6-10, 2009
Frontier Cafe, Cinema & Gallery

Brunswick, ME.
http://www.explorefrontier.com/
Béla Fleck in person July 8

July 7, 2009
Railroad Square

Waterville, Maine
http://www.railroadsquarecinema.com/
Béla Fleck in person July 7

July 9-16, 2009
Coolidge Corner Theater
Brookline, MA
http://www.coolidge.org/
Béla Fleck in person Thursday July 9

July 10-16, 2009
Cable Car Cinema
Providence, RI
http://www.cablecarcinema.com
Béla Fleck in person July 10

 

July 11, 2009
Duxbury Performing Arts

Duxbury, MA
http://www.duxbury.k12.ma.us/pac.html
Béla Fleck in person

July 11-12, 2009

Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Oklahoma City, OK

www.okcmoa.com/film

July 13, 2009
Amherst Cinema

Amherst, MA
http://amherstcinema.org/
Béla Fleck in person

July 14, 2009
Upstate Films

Rhinebeck, NY
http://upstatefilms.org/
Béla Fleck in person July 14


July 17-23, 2009
Ragtag Cinema
Columbia, MO
http://www.ragtagfilm.com/

HELD OVER

July 17-30, 2009

Hollywood Theatre

Portland, OR

http://www.hollywoodtheatre.org/

July 24-30, 2009

Vancity Theatre

Vancouver, B.C.-Canada

http://vifc.org/home.html

August 3, 2009
Central Park SummerStage
New York, NY
http://www.summerstage.org/index1.aspx?BD=21397

August 3, 2009
Robinson Film Center

Shreveport, LA
http://www.robinsonfilmcenter.org/

July 31-August 6, 2009

Cinema du Parc

Montreal, Canada

www.cinemaduparc.com/english/homeen.html

August 8, 2009
Robinson Film Center

Shreveport, LA
http://www.robinsonfilmcenter.org/

August 10, 2009
Alamo Drafthouse

Austin, TX
http://www.drafthouse.com/

August 7-13 , 2009

Northwest Film Forum

Seattle, WA

http://www.nwfilmforum.org

August 11-12, 2009
Turnage Theater

Washington, NC
http://turnagetheater.com/

August 13, 2009
The Cedar

Minneapolis, MN
http://www.thecedar.org/
Béla Fleck in person Thursday 8/13 for Q&A and a single tune

August 14-16, 2009
Times Cinema

Milwaukee, WI
http://www.timescinema.com/
Béla Fleck in person friday 8/14 for Q&A and a single tune

August 16, 2009
Vickers Theatre

Three Oaks, MI
http://www.vickerstheatre.com/
Béla Fleck in person Sunday 8/16 for Q&A and a single tune

August 14-20, 2009
Music Box Theatre

Chicago, IL
www.musicboxtheatre.com

Béla Fleck in person Saturday 8/15 for Q&A and mini-set @ 8pm.

August 23, 2009
Belcourt Theatre

Nashville, TN
http://www.belcourt.org/
Béla Fleck in person!

August 27, 2009
Lake Placid Center for the Arts

Lake Placid, NY
www.LakePlacidArts.org

August 28-29, 2009
Tallahassee Film Society

Tallahassee, FL
http://www.tallahasseefilms.com/

August 29, 2009
Old Salem Museums and Gardens

Winston-Salem, NC
http://www.oldsalem.org

 

August, 2009 (select screenings throughout the month)
Peoria Theatre

Peoria, IL
http://www.peoriatheater.com

September 10, 2009

Carver Hill Gallery

Rockport, ME

www.carverhillgallery.com

September 18-20, 2009
Pittsburgh Filmmakers

Pittsburgh, PA
http://www.pghfilmmakers.org/

September 19, 2009
I Luv Africa Film Series
Georgetown Theater

Washington, DC

September 27, 2009
Blue Ridge Music Center

Galax, VA
http://www.blueridgemusiccenter.org/

October 2, 2009
Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, OK

http://osu.okstate.edu/

October 12, 2009

Bear Tooth Theatre- Anchorage, AK

www.beartooththeatre.net/movies.htm

October 14, 2009

Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland, OH
http://www.clevelandart.org/

October 19, 2009

Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

Vancouver, B.C

http://www.chancentre.com/whats-on/throw-down-your-heart

October 21-25, 2009
Hamilton Theater

Hamilton, NY
http://www.hamiltontheater.net/

October 23-24, 2009
Real Art Ways - Hartford, CT
http://www.realartways.org/

October 27, 2009
The Flicks

Boise, ID
www.theflicksboise.com

October 30-November 1, 2009
Cape Ann Community Cinema

Gloucester, MA
http://www.massbayfilmproject.org/

HELD OVER

October 30,31, 2009

Real Art Ways

Hartford, CT
http://www.realartways.org

November 5, 2009
Naro Cinema - Norfolk, VA
http://www.narocinema.com

November 4-22, 2009

Leeds International Film Festival

Leeds, United Kingdom

www.leedsfilm.com

November 21, 2009

Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit, MI

www.dia.org

November 22, 2009
Lyndsay McCandless Contemporary Gallery
Jackson, WY
http://lmcontemporary.com/

December 8, 2009

Cape Ann Community Cinema - Gloucester,

Gloucester, MA

http://www.massbayfilmproject.org/

January 31, 2010

Center for Contemporary Arts

Santa FE, NM

http://www.ccasantafe.org/

February 2, 2010

Film Streams

Omaha, NE

http://www.filmstreams.org/

February 17 &21, 2010

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

February 27, 2010
Railroad Square Cinema
Waterville, ME
http://www.railroadsquarecinema.com/

February 28, 2010

State Theatre

State College, PA
http://www.thestatetheatre.org/

April 9, 11, 14, 2010

The Cinematheque

Winnipeg, Manitoba - CANADA

http://www.winnipegcinematheque.com/

April 17, 2010
The Reel House Cinema
Boone, NC
http://thereelhouseboone.com

April 26, 2010

Big Arts

Sanibel Island, FL

http://www.bigarts.org/

March 2, 2010

Plaza Theatre

Orlando, FL

http://www.theplazatheatre.com/

March 4, 2010

Asheville Brewing Company

Asheville, NC

http://www.ashevillebrewing.com/

June 12, 2010

Skirball Cultural Center

Los Angeles, CA

http://www.skirball.org/

June 27, 2010

Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix, AZ

http://www.phxart.org

July 22, 2010

Lambertville Library

Lambertville, NJ

August 11, 2010

The Hygienic Art Park

New London, CT

www.hygienic.org

August 22, 2010

Marshall-Lyon County Library

Marshall, MN
http://marshallsoundsofsummer.com/

November 18 , 2010

Percolator Films

Evanston, IL

http://www.percolatorfilms.org/

February 17, 2011
East Side Food Co-op
Minneapolis, MN
http://www.eastsidefood.coop/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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