Acclaimed U.S. Figure Skating Film RISE to Make Television Premiere Oct. 22, 2011, on VERSUSDVD and Blu-ray release to coincide with television premiere
|The 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team|
"We are thrilled that RISE will make its television debut on VERSUS," said David Raith, executive director, U.S. Figure Skating. "U.S. Figure Skating has a rich and interesting history, and through the airing of RISE on national television, we have the opportunity to share that history with a wide national audience."
Commissioned by U.S. Figure Skating, RISE celebrates American figure skating while commemorating the 50th anniversary and legacy of the 1961 U.S. World Team tragedy. An inspirational story about the power of the human spirit, RISE takes audiences on a journey that honors a group of individuals who, through their loss, inspired the hopes, dreams and successes of some of the most iconic names in Olympic sports history.
Serving as storytellers in RISE are Peggy Fleming, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Brian Boitano and Michelle Kwan. Throughout the film, these skating luminaries interweave the stories behind some of the biggest names and moments in the history of the sport with those of the 1961 U.S. World Team members who lost their lives in the crash of Sabena Airlines Flight 548 en route to the World Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia, on Feb. 15, 1961.
Produced and directed by 16-time Emmy Award winner Lookalike Productions, RISE debuted in theaters Feb. 17, 2011, as part of a one-night only, red-carpet gala hosted by Matt Lauer, co-anchor of the NBC's "TODAY" show. Originating from the Best Buy Theater in New York City's Times Square, the event was simulcast to more than 500 theaters nationwide. Due to popular demand, the event was followed by a one-time encore presentation in select theaters in March.
The television premiere of RISE will coincide with the release of RISE on DVD and Blu-ray. The DVD and Blu-ray launch will include a DVD of the original television broadcast of the 1961 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. The 1961 U.S. Championships, held just weeks before the team perished in the crash, were the first U.S. Championships broadcast on national television.
A portion of the proceeds from each DVD and Blu-ray sale will directly benefit the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund, which was created in the days after the crash to honor the members of the 1961 U.S. World Figure Skating Team. The fund provides financial assistance to U.S. skaters to pursue their educational and athletic goals.