About & Trailer
Three countries. One passion. Three hundred bodies climbing, reaching the sky to build a human tower — all for a touch of glory. In Mumbai, India, Sandeep, a coach with high dreams and a debilitating case of malaria leads his team of men to break the record and build India’s biggest human tower at the one-day Dahi Handi Festival. In Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain, a group of “castellers”, or climbers formed by men, women and children, dedicate their lives to reach the heavens and share their passion with the world following a tradition that goes back 400 years. An old legendary coach, Melilla, takes his passion to Santiago, Chile, hoping to empower and help the local groups to improve their performances while unifying them as a community. Pressed for time, Melilla needs to prepare the Chilean team for their first public performance at the Universal Forum of Cultures in Valparaiso where they will attempt the first seven-level tower in Chile. Helped by Luis, a very passionate scholar and leader of this initiative in Chile, they develop a plan that will become a symbolic first step to rebuild Chilean society from the bottom up through the human towers. The film cuts between the three countries leading to a major climatic scene that will take your breath away and keep you on the edge of your seats.
In Santiago, Mumbai, and Vilafranca del Penedès, all it takes is one shaky foot and the human tower falls, sending hundreds of bodies tumbling in the rain or into the mud or onto the crumbling pavement of a forgotten neighborhood. But the makers of these human towers keep starting again for the glory of seeing how high, altogether, they can go. A passion beyond race, borders, and ages. A global story of fearless skills and heart-bounding suspense of immense human towers. (75 minute Feature Documentary)
OUR STORY IN MAKING THE MOVIE: Human towers are medicine for the soul. You risk your life for a moment of sublime camaraderie and community. Trust is paramount. All it takes is one shaky foot and the entire tower falls, sending you and hundreds of others tumbling into the air, onto each other and then onto the pavement. Building human towers is more than a quirky attraction, more than an international sport and more than a refuge for lost youth. It’s more even than a thirst for the glory of winning. A human tower, when done right, represents a unparalleled passion for human connection that goes beyond race, borders and ages. In this sense, the world’s best human tower builders represent all of us — all people, all communities, all nations — in our hope for a better future.
FESTIVALS: Margaret Mead Film Festival, DocBarcelona, Delhi International Film Festival & EthnoFilm Festival in Croatia (winner).
Cast & Crew
RAM DEVINENI is the founder of Rattapallax Films. Recently, produced Amir Naderi’s feature film, VEGAS: BASED ON A TRUE STORY, which premiered at the Venice & Tribeca Film Festivals and Beatriz Seigner’s feature movie, O SONHO BOLLYWOODIANO, which was released nationally in Brazil and shown at the Mostra Internacional de Cinema in Sao Paulo and the Pusan International Film Festival. In addition, a three-part travel documentary TV series called ON THE ROAD WITH BOB HOLMAN about endangered languages shot in West Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and showing on LINK TV. Besides films, Rattapallax publishes poetry books and DVDs and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Devineni is one of the founding partners of Academia Internacional de Cinema, the first independent film school in Brazil.
CANO ROJAS is a Chilean filmmaker and photographer with a strong documentary focus and a special interest in multicultural relations and global issues. He holds a MS in Global Affairs at New York University that complements and continue to influence his work as a filmmaker in places like Hawaii, Indonesia, Thailand and India to name a few. Currently he is working on his first fictional script about a story set in Mali, Africa and a new documentary following small farmers and rural communities in a few different countries.
SANDEEP DHAVALE , JITENDRA AWHAD, AMOL KADOLKAR, AKASH KASARE & MAHESH SAWANT.
F. “MELILLA” MORENO, RAUL TUDELA, NEREA MORENO, MONTSERRAT LOPEZ, ANGEL MORENO, LLUIS ESCLASSANS & TONI BACH.
LUIS CARRASCO, CYNTHIA MACIEL, FELIPE VALDEZ, FABIOLA VALDEZ & AIDE PRADO.
Special thanks to
CASTELLERS DE VILAFRANCA DEL PENEDES, JAI-JAWAN & CHILEAN TEAMS.
MIQUEL FERRET, JITENDRA AWHAD, MAYOR OF LO PRADO, AKASH KASARE, ESCUELA NAVAL, ARTURO PRAT, PRASHANT SHIRKE, CHRISTOS PATHIAKIS, MARIA VALL, IGNASI “XAIO” PEREZ, GABRIELE DI STASIO, ANIKET MALVANKAR, JUAN EDUARDO BERTRAND, JOAN BADELL, DAVID MIRET, FELIX MIRET, “CISCU” MALLOFRE, FINA CURTO, JOSEP M. MATEU, SWAPNIL ANASANE, SHOBITA ANNA, IDRA NOVEY, LEONARDO NOVIK, BHISHAM BHERWANI, GABY FREZ, BOAZ NOVIK, BEN FELDMAN.
Directed & Produced by RAM DEVINENI & CANO ROJAS
Cinematography by CANO ROJAS & RAM DEVINENI
Edited by RAM DEVINENI
Music by ANDRES SUBERCASEAUX & RENE VERON
Executive Producers: ENRICO ROSSINI CULLEN & ALEXANDRA GALVIS
Sound Mix & Design: QUAKE MUSIC NEW YORK
Lyrics by FALU
Songs by ANDRES SUBERCASEAUX & RENE VERON
Sitar Music by KAMALA SANKARAM
Additional Camera: SEBASTIAN SCHMIDT & ELENA ROSEO
HD Finishing Services: GOLDCREST POST
Colorist: JOHN J. DOWDELL III
Finishing Artist: KATIE HINSEN
Finishing Supervisor: TIM SPITZER
Finishing Producer: JEANNE SISON
Re-Recording Mixer: MIKE SUAREZ
Associate Producers: AMIR NADERI, PABLO VARGAS, MELISSA HIBBARD & HAMID RAHMANIAN
Marathi Translations by SADASHIV KAMATKAR, SUDHIR KAMATKAR, YASH KAMATKAR & SATISH KAMATKAR
Spanish Translations by CANO ROJAS
Catalan Translations by MARC ORO
Poster design by JMR (JAMES RIZZI)
RATTAPALLAX in association with MUSIC WITH CURVES
Filmed made in INDIA, SPAIN, CHILE, ITALY & UNITED STATES.
ENRICO ROSSINI CULLEN (Executive Producer) is a film director, producer and writer. He is currently directing a long-form documentary titled Salt in the Air. Enrico co-produced Pushing the Elephant (2010), which premiered at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York and was broadcast on Independent Lens in March 2011. He was a producer for An Encounter with Simone Weil (2010), which premiered in competition at IDFA in 2010. He was a consulting producer for Election Day (POV 2008) and Artic Son (POV 2007).
AMIR NADERI (Executive Producer) started his international career in Iran in the 1970s with award-winning films such as Waiting and Requiem. In the 80s, he helped focus international attention on Iranian cinema with acclaimed works such as The Runner and Water, Wind, Dust. Based in New York City since the late ‘80s, Naderi has since made his New York Trilogy: Manhattan by Numbers (1993), A, B, C… Manhattan (1997), and Marathon (2002). His U.S. films have premiered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center/MOMA’s New Films New Director’s series, the Venice, Cannes, Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals. His last feature, Vegas : Based on a True Story (2008) premiered at the Venice Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival.
Distribution & Contact
GOLDCREST FILMS INTERNATIONAL
65/66 Dean Street
London, UK. W1D 4PL
UK Tel:+44 (0)20 7437 8696
US Tel: +1 212 243 4700
Worldwide sales in all media formats with the exception of Spain, Chile and Andorra.
C/Roselló 184, 5th Floor
08008 Barcelona – Spain
Tel.: +34 93 453 00 25
Fax.: +34 93 323 93 30
Sales in Spain, Chile and Andorra in all media formats.
Rattapallax Productions, 217 Thompson Street, Suite 353, New York, NY 10012 USA
Press & Media
150 Member Castellers de Vilafranca to Built First Eight Story Human Tower on a Rooftop
One of the world’s most unusual and spectacular team endeavors – the Spanish region of Catalonia’s three hundred year old tradition of building multi-storey human towers called castells – made its New York City debut on June 20 at 230 FIFTH, when the 150 member Castellers de Vilafranca set a new world record by building the first eight-level castell ever assembled on a rooftop. The performance, also included the building of several other towers in different configurations on 230 FIFTH’s palm punctuated roof deck, inaugurated a series of free public castell buildings throughout New York City from June 20 to 24 in honor of the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. Each tower was an exercise in intense concentration, strength and balance as the bare footed participants form successively smaller tiers – resembling a human wedding cake – by climbing up the bodies of each layer to mount the shoulders of the previous tier until the tower is topped by a single 9 years old child. An almost balletic, decidedly athletic and heart-stopping feat orchestrated to the inspiring melodies of a quartet playing Catalonian music.
The series of performances were the first by any castell team in New York City; the Castellers de Vilafranca, considered Spain’s best, have been planning for years to build in the Big Apple as a means of introducing to the United States the activity which UNESCO has recognized as being amongst the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Their trip coincided with an official visit by President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas.
The Castellers de Vilfranca perfomed in Central Park and Battery Park for the Make Music NY Festival on June 21st. The event was to promote the film, The Human Tower by Ram Devineni and Cano Rojas and distributed by Goldcrest.
FOX & FRIENDS features THE HUMAN TOWERS!!!
NEW YORK TIMES: A Human Tower Needs a Foundation as Well as a Pinnacle
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Human Tower on the Rise in the City
HISTORY CHANNEL: Human Tower shown in India.
FOX & FRIENDS: The incredible human tower
USA TODAY: See a ‘Human Tower’ team from Spain in NYC
ASIA SOCIETY: Interview: Filmmakers Document How Urge to Build ‘Human Towers’ Crosses Continents
MSNBC: Human tower joins Manhattan skyline
MSNBC PHOTOS: Human tower joins the Manhattan skyline
NEW YORK OBSERVER Catalonian Tradition of Human Tower Building Rises High in New York
RECORD TV (BRAZIL): Torre de gente alegra parques de Nova York
THE TELEGRAPH: Human tower built in New York to honour rebuilding of World Trade Center
THRILLIST: A World-Record Human Tower
HINDUSTAN TIMES: Human tower
CNN MEXICO: Los Castellers de Vilafranca construyen en NY la torre humana más alta
NY DAILY NEWS: New York Pictures of the Week: June 14 – June 21
NEWSDAY: Building human towers
LA VANGUARDIA: Castells de pel·lícula
COURIER JOUNRAL: See a ‘Human Tower’ team from Spain in NYC
NATIONAL POST: Human towers reach new eight-level heights in New York City
FOX LANTINO: Spanish Team Builds Human ‘Skyscrapers’ in NYC
GOTHAMIST: Record-Setting Human Tower Rises Up From Roof At 230 Fifth
EXAMINER: ‘The Human Tower’ at 230 FIFTH
METRO: Human tower builders attempt world record in New York
HULU: Weird News: Human Towers joins New York Skyline
CNA: Catalan human towers scrape Manhattan’s sky
LA VANGUARDIA: Los Castellers de Vilafranca hacen historia al alzar torres en Nueva York
ZAGAT: Herring Festival at Aquavit, Human Towers at 230 Fifth
JOONBUG: Humans Build Tower Out of Humans
MAKE MUSIC FESTIVAL: Feature Profile – Castellers de Vilafranca / MMNY World Tour
L’INDEPENDANT: Les Castellers de Vilafranca del Penedès à l’assaut des tours de Manhattan
MID-DAY: A eight-level human tower on a rooftop
COZYCOT: Photos from tower build.
MARKET WATCH: International Team Sport to Make World Record-Setting New York City Debut
El NORTE DE CASTILLA: Los Castellers de Vilafranca suben sus castillos a las alturas de Nueva York
8 TV: Els Castellers de Vilafranca fan la competència a l’Empire State de Nova York
EL TIEMPO: Los Castellers de Vilafranca llegaron con sus castillos a las alturas de Nueva York
KETNET: childrens TV of the record setting event.
CONNECT BARCELONA: Interview with Cano Rojas on the film.
MIDAY NEWSPAPER: Indian newspaper on the making of the Human Tower.
LATERCERA: Chilean newspaper article on the film and castel building in Chile (PDF)
TIMEOUT BARCELONA: Review of The Human Tower movie.
VILAWEB: Article on the film and Vilafranca (website)
REVISTA: Magazine article in Spain on the film and the screening at DocBarcelona (PDF)
LA CLAU: Website article in Catalonia on the movie.
ARA NEWSPAPERS: Catalan newspaper article on the movie and its screenings in Catalonia.
NACIO DIGITAL: Catalan website on the film and its screening at DocBarcelona.
MANRESAINFO: Website article in Catalan on the film.
LA VENTANA INDISCRETA: Radio interview with Cano Rojas on the film.
WONDERLAND: Radio Interview with Cano Rojas on the Human Tower.
EL SUBMARI: Radio Interview with Cano Rojas on the movie. (minuto 67 aprox)
CURRENT: Vilafranca Castell team goes to Mumbai to build huge human tower
NORTH ADAMS TRANSCRIPT: Mass MoCA: Documentary captures towering people