The latest installment in the ground breaking documentary film series known as THE UP SERIES
56 UP will open at New York's IFC Center on Friday January 4th, 2013 and in Los Angeles on January 18th, 2013 with a national theatrical run to follow
Michael Apted is available for in person interviews in Los Angeles and in New York on January 3rd and 4th. Tony (the taxi driver) is available for phone interviewsOffering an extraordinary look at the unfolding of lives, THE UP SERIES has been called “an inspired, almost noble use of the film medium” by renowned film critic Roger Ebert.
In 1964, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted (Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorillas in the Mist, The World is Not Enough, Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) began his career as a researcher on a new experimental series for Granada TV called Seven Up, which explored the Jesuit maxim “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man.” The original concept was to interview 14 children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds from all over England, to see whether a class system was in place. By asking the children about their lives and their dreams for the future, differences in attitudes and opportunity were witnessed.
For almost a half century, Apted has interviewed the original group every seven years, examining the progression of their lives. Now they are 56. From cab driver Tony, to schoolmates Jackie, Lynn and Susan and the iconoclast Neil, the present age brings more life-changing decisions and surprising developments. From success and disappointment, marriage and childbirth, to poverty and illness, nearly every facet of life is discussed with the group, as they assess whether their lives have ultimately been ruled by circumstance or self-determination.
About THE UP SERIES, Apted says: "This project has spanned my entire working life. It has been a unique and fulfilling experience, the one I treasure most in my career. I owe a debt to Granada for their five decades of unstinting support, to First Run Features for launching the films in the USA and sticking with us, but my biggest debt is to the participants for their commitment and courage in seeing it all through. It’s no small matter offering your life up for public appraisal every seven years to a large international audience. I’ve known them so long that they’re more like a family than fellow workers. Like a family, we’ve had our good times, our disagreements, but now, all but one of the participants are back for 56UP. I never know how each new film will turn out, except that it’ll be quite different from the last. 21 UP was full of hope, 28 was about children and responsibility, 35 was concerned with mortality when some were losing parents, and 49 had a sense of disappointment with lives maybe not fully achieved. Yet 56 is quite different again, which goes to prove, if nothing else, that our series mirrors life, and is always full of surprises."
Michael Apted is of one of the most prolific directors of his generation. Since the 1960s, Apted has helmed an extensive list of feature films and documentaries. His feature films include Coal Miner's Daughter, Gorky Park, Gorillas in the Mist, Thunderheart, Nell, The World is Not Enough, Enigma, Amazing Grace, and the third installment of C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. His most recent film Chasing Mavericks for Walden Media and Twentieth Century Fox, tells the true story of Jay Moriarity, the youngest person to surf Mavericks, a famous giant wave in Northern California.
Apted was born in England in 1941 and studied law and history at Cambridge University. He has received numerous awards and nominations for his extensive body of work, including a Grammy, British Academy Awards, a DGA Award and the International Documentary Association's highest honor, the IDA Career Achievement Award. By the order of Queen Elizabeth II, Apted was recently made a Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George for his work in the film and television industries. Apted joined the DGA in 1978, was elected to the Western Directors Council in 1997 and became the Fifth Vice President of the National Board in 2002. He was elected President at the DGA biennial convention in June 2003. He served three terms as President of the Guild, which he concluded in July 2009. He became the Secretary-Treasurer of the DGA in 2011, and sits as a Governor of the Academy of Motion Pictures.
144 minutes, English, Digital (DCP, HDCAM, BluRay), 2012, Documentary
Directed by MICHAEL APTED & PAUL ALMOND
Produced by MICHAEL APTED & CLAIRE LEWIS
Film Editor KIM HORTON
Executive Producer ALEXANDER GARDINER
Production Executive KAREN STOCKTON
Production Managers HELEN HOUSTON, LAURA MCCOMBIE
Production Secretary JO LEWIS
Production Co-ordinators AMY BROWN, CORT KRISTENSEN, JACKI TURNER
Music ANDREW GILLOOLEY, RIK CURTIS, STUART BEDFORD
Sound NICK STEER
Additional Sound STEPHEN HORWOOD
Director of Photography GEORGE JESSE TURNER
Additional Photography JASON TRENCH, RUPERT MURRAY
Audio Dubbing TIM COCKERILL, SAM HANDY
Graphics3 SIXTY MEDIA
Colourist NEIL PARKER
Online Editors IAN BROWN, DANIEL WARD
Production Company ITV STUDIOS LIMITED