We couldn’t be more excited to announce that our newest film, More Art Upstairs, will make its premiere very soon at the top documentary film festival in North America! The film, directed by Jody Hassett Sanchez, will have four showings at Hot Docs in Toronto May 3-7.
Filmed in Michigan, More Art Upstairs explores how Americans from disparate backgrounds can come together, despite deep disagreements, to have a civilized conversation … about culture.
The film follows four blue-chip artists competing in ArtPrize, a mash-up of Art Basel and American Idol where the public votes on who wins much of $500,000 – the largest prize money in the art world. For three weeks in Grand Rapids, local bistros, bars, abandoned buildings, and top museums showcase more than 1,500 artworks created by cerebral conceptualists and weekend hobbyists. The public votes dramatically differently from coastal elites, and both are baffled by the other’s choices.
With unmatched access to artists, organizers, jurors and visitors, More Art Upstairs captures the entire wild ride of this competition. The result – a thoughtful yet exuberant experience about this curious confluence of paintings, populism and the notion that art can express something important about what it means to be human.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity with this film,” Jody says, “for a conversation about access and the role culture can play in restoring our country and bridging the deep divide between the public and the ‘elites’.”