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Summer Film | We Rise Up: Q&A with Producer Kate Maloney




We Rise Up is a brand new film, born in Colorado with a mission to change the world. Asking important questions like, what do you stand for, what is your model of success, what is the future going to be, and more, We Rise Up is a film, a movement, a question for all of us to answer as we search for a world and a future for all of us. Check out We Rise up at Weriseup.com or come out to Arise Festival for the screening. Tickets are still available for that event at arisefestival.com. We talked with Executive Producer Kate Maloney and you’ll want to hear what she has to say. 

Yellow Scene: Hi Let’s start here: Who are you and what are you doing?

Kate Maloney: I’m Kate Maloney and I am the producer and executive producer of “We Rise Up” the movie and movement. The film is a social impact documentary that we have been working with all kind of remarkable influencers that are looking at what is the future of humanity and what is the definition of success that’s gonna drive us into a future that’s a thriving planet.

YS: What is the movement part of it?

KM: The movie is 90 minutes that introduces a conversation. The conversation isn’t a film that provides answers, it’s a film that asks the questions. The questions lead us back to ourselves, which is: what inspires us, how are we called to rise up, what is it that’s ours to do?

When we talk about the movement, it’s not “the We Rise Up Movement” that we created. In fact, it’s the movie and the movement is pointing to what’s emerging in culture. That there is this pull that’s happening. What’s available and what’s possible as we come together and as we rise up to give our unique gifts and to not look outside ourselves or towards our leadership, but this call for a level of how are we inspired inside of our own personal responsibility and inside of our collective responsibility?

YS: How did you come up with this idea? Who are the people, how did you select them, and what are they giving us to chew on?

KM: My background is not as a filmmaker, my background is as an entrepreneur. Over the last decade as an entrepreneur, I’ve always had the experience and believed that business is one of the biggest transformational agents on the planet and that there’s something that’s available when we come together to both impact each other, impact the world.

I was fortunate enough to become friends with and work with John Mackey, who is the CEO and founder of Whole Foods Market, along with a number of great conscious business leaders. After I exited and sold a number of my companies I ended up joining the board of directors of a nonprofit which focused on what are some of the most challenging problems of our day and how are we thinking about these problems and how are we conceptualizing and problem solving around them?

It was from that that we got inspired to bring together some of the top leaders into a four-day summit where we were all in dialogue and explored the question of ‘what is the new model of success?’ There was an extraordinary group of people that came together and went into this inquiry. Well it was during that time that the conversation exploded and broke open and that as a group we all became connected as well.

That was about four years ago and, since then, we’ve also worked closely with people like the United Nations and Tony Robbins to working with the Dalai Lama and his team, Dwight Howard who is an NBA all-star, etc. We also talk to people who you’ve never heard about, and people who are just kind of global citizens.

YS: When did this project get started and why is it important that it’s happening now?

KM: We started this project about four and a half years ago, and why it’s important now…

[One] thing that’s unique about this film is that this film was an inquiry in and of itself. The film came about not so much knowing what we wanted to say but having conversations and an exploration of what was emerging for individuals as they are doing their work in the world.

It’s a timely message because culturally, we’re at a time that is a unique tipping point in culture. Here in the United States, and around the world, there’s a lot of systemic shifts that are happening. One of the issues that we see most recently is the issue of polarization and this creating of an us and a them. One of the things that’s often missing in this polarized narrative is our common humanity and is our common commitment and how do we truly celebrate our differences and our diversities and how do we look at that as a strength and come together, being able to see and understand and appreciate multiple perspectives and become more from that as opposed to polarized and having that deteriorate us.

YS: Where do people access the film, how do they access the film, where is it being shown?

KM: We are on our film festival circuit, and we are doing select private events. One of the screenings that will be coming up is at the Arise Festival, which we are excited to be having that screening here in our hometown backyard.

You can watch for it in this upcoming winter, where it will be released in all of the places; it’s on Netflix and Itunes and everywhere else. There will [also] be local screenings. One of the other ways you can engage is by bringing We Rise Up into your local schools; we have a whole school and educational program. We’ve been released in over 60 schools and have been engaged in our local educational communities all over the country.

During Climate Week we’re going to be being screened across the country, sponsored by Patagonia, celebrating how is it that we come together during Climate Week and take action in the world.

YS: Kate, we’re excited that this project that was born in Colorado. Thank you for the work that you’re doing and thank you for reaching out to us and sharing this with us.