Music Documentary Tocar y Luchar Premiers at the American Film Institute Festival: AFIFEST

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To Play and Luchar was selected to the first AFI 20/20 world outreach program and will screen at festivals throughout the world.

Kingston based Explorart Films and Cinema Sur announced today that the US premier of the memorable documentary Tocar y Luchar (To Play and To Fight) will be held at the 20th annual meeting of AFIFEST, one of the most influential film festivals in the world. The film will screen on Thursday November 9th at 9:30pm and Friday November 10th at 4:30pm at Hollywood's ArcLight Cinema Complex. The film was also selected to participate on the first American Film Institute 20/20 project and will screen at various events throughout the world in 2006 and 2007.

To Play and To Fight presents the captivating story of what is considered by many to be the best youth orchestra network in the world: The Venezuelan Youth Orchestra System. Once a modest program designed to expose rural children to the wonders of music, the system has become one of the most important and beautiful m usic phenomena in modern history. Today the system includes thousands of orchestras throughout South America affecting more than 250,000 children. To Play and To Fight presents interviews and performances by many of the world's most renowned musicians including the great tenor Placido Domingo, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Guiseppe Sinopoli, and Eduardo Mata, as they reflect on the impact of such a far-reaching social project. The documentary also presents the inspirational stories of world class musicians who have been trained by the Venezuelan system, including the Berlin Philharmonic's youngest player Edicson Ruiz and world class conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

The film had its North America premier at the prestigious Montreal World Film Festival and has screened in festivals throughout the world including Vancouver, Brussels, Oslo, Rome, Canberra, Sao Paulo, Mar de Plata and Malaysia. To Play and To Fight was amongst the top 15 most popular films at the Vancouver International Film Festival. The film was directed by the award winning Venezuelan Director Alberto Arvelo. "This film is about much more than music. To Play and To Fight is a film about hope, about the power and the importance of hope in our every day lives. This documentary not only changed the life of all of us [filmmakers], but is also changing the life of many people from all around the world... people who find in the message of these kids a deep inspiration. To Play and To Fight is a film about the resurrection of hope", said Mr. Arvelo. Mr. Arvelo is an up-and-coming energetic director credited with some of the most celebrated films ever produced by the emerging Venezuelan Film industry. His previous films include, among others, "A House with a View of the Sea", starring Spanish star Imanol Arias, which received more than 15 international awards, including Best Director at the New York Latino Film Festival and the Miami International Film Festival, and "One Life and Two Trails", which won him the New York Film Festival's Best Director award. The documentary was produced by Venezuelan production companies Cinema SUR and Explorart Films with support from the Venezuelan National Youth Orchestra System.

"We are excited to have our US premier at AFIFEST. This is one of the most prestigious and influential festivals in North America and we hope it serves as a platform to bring this wonderful story to audiences around the world", said Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, vice president of Explorart and one the producers of the film. AFIFEST is the longest-running film festival in the United States and the premier site for dozens of highly acclaimed independent films such as Walk The Line, Transamerica, Tsotsi, The Sea Inside, and Hotel Rwanda. The festival is held every year concurrently and in association with the celebrated America Film Market.

Film director Albert Arvelo and To Play and To Fight were also selected to participate on the American Film Festival 20/20 program. This program, which is sponsored by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the Department of State, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, is intended to enhance international cultural exchange and collaboration amongst filmmakers throughout the world. As part of the 20/20 program, the film will be screened at selected events in the US and overseas during the next year and beyond.

More information about this film can be found on the film's website at http://www.tocaryluchar.com. For additional information or to schedule an interview with the film's director Arberto Arvelo, please contact Nestor L. Lopez-Duran at Explorart Films http://www.explorart.com

About Explorart Films.

Explorart Films is an independent production company with offices in Venezuela and the USA dedicated to the production of original award-winning feature films, documentaries, and television series for worldwide distribution. Explorart Films is committed to becoming a major player in the global independent film industry. Contact Explorart at http://www.explorart.com.

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Nestor L. Lopez-Duran
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