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THE UPSIDE

Filmmaker's Vision
THE UPSIDE is inspired by the 2011 box office hit French film Les Intouchables. Producers Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black and Steve Tisch from Escape Artists were thrilled at the prospect of recreating the French classic, having seen it a few years back and absolutely loving the story. Says Black, "Our decision to remake Les Intouchables stemmed from a desire to dive deeper into the lives of the incredible real people the original film is based on. We wanted to know more about their stories and believed we could give audiences a fresh interpretation that honored the brilliance of the French version."

Though Director Neil Burger had immense admiration for the original, he was clear in communicating to Blumenthal, Black and Tisch that he felt an English language adaptation could bring the story to an entirely new level for American audiences. While Burger was specific in what he envisioned for the film, it was his ability to collaborate with the producers as well as with writer Jon Hartmere that eventually brought the script to fruition. "Neil is a producer's dream," says Black. "He has a very firm vision of what he wants, but he also encourages feedback and fosters a collaborative and open working environment that we believe made the film even more powerful."

"The movie is about people bridging the divisions between us, which to me is an incredibly important theme," explains director Neil Burger. "I wanted the movie to feel real and to be as honest as possible. That goes with the depiction of Phillip and his disability. To be as honest as we could about that experience and ultimately be as respectful as we could about that. And the same with Kevin's character's experience. His background being from the South Bronx and what he's going through in his life. The movie is about respect and it's about compassion. And I think that had to be part of the filmmaking as well. To be as honest and respectful as possible."

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