Recent Press and Praise

Dec 23, 2010

SMILE held over in Portland!

Don't forget there are two held-over shows of SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS in Portland this holiday weekend:

December 25 and 26 @ 2pm
4122 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR
(503) 281-4215

Take a break from the holiday hustle and watch SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS with us. Enjoy!

Season's Greetings to SMILE friends and fans!

To all our comrades:

What a year! With the change in the economy and the purchasing focus of most documentary outlets, even the best of docs have had a difficult time getting out to the public. And while we press forward to bring SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS to greater audiences through self-distribution at your local indie theaters, it takes a lot of persistence to keep things moving forward. Thank you to our dedicated friends and fans for spreading the word about screenings of SMILE in your neighborhood!!!! Stay tuned for many more in 2011!

In 2010, SMILE won a Special Jury Prize at Michael Moore's film festival in Traverse City, Michigan. Michael then set out to work with the documentary filmmakers on creating a "Doc Night" in which theatrical docs would be screened in multiple theaters with commentary by Michael Moore. That program never got off the ground in 2010 but we hope it will gather new wings and energy for programming in 2011.

It's imperative that good docs be shown to audiences who are willing to gather in darkened rooms to see them. Good docs elicit good conversation; a give and take in viewpoints and a discussion over issues relevant to our times. The magic of movies that move us doesn't flower in the same way when we watch docs on TV at home alone. Good movies are meant to germinate thought and even a call to action, as well as entertain. And yes, docs must ENTERTAIN. Afterall, if people want a lecture, they can go to class. Or if they have a political agenda, they can go to a political rally. But when doc filmmakers ask people to sharing 90 minutes of their time in a darkened theater, we believe the film must also entertain. We are delighted that SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS is among those thought-provoking docs that also dares to entertain. Smile!

Thank you to all who have shared a darkened room with us in 2010. May there be many many more in 2011!

Best wishes for the New Year to all our friends and fans.

The SMILE Team

Dec 21, 2010

SMILE held over in Portland!

Woohoo! Happy Holidays from the SMILE TEAM!

Although our opening Q&A via Skype didn't turn out due to technical difficulties at the theater, SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story will be carried over for two more shows in Portland on Christmas Day and on December 26. Both shows are at 2pm. Tickets on sale now. Come for the entertainment. We hope to see you there!

December 25 and 26 @ 2pm
4122 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR
(503) 281-4215

Dec 16, 2010


Hello all!

This is a reminder that SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story opens in Portland, Oregon at the Hollywood Theatre this Friday, December 17. The theater will beam with frivolity and joy! Watching the moving stories about Up With People is a great break from the holiday shopping. The 5pm show on Friday, December 17 and Sunday matinee at 2:25pm will be followed by a Q&A with the director! Tickets on sale now.

4122 NE Sandy Blvd
Portland, OR
(503) 281-4215

Friday, December 17 @ 5pm**Q&A to follow with the director
Saturday, December 18 @ 12:00 noon and 2:25pm
Sunday, December 19 @ 12:00 noon and 2:25pm**Q&A to follow with the director

Screenings will be held December 24-26 through the holidays.

Please send this post t o everywhere you can think of and tell friends and family about the opportunity to see SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS in Portland.

Happy Days from the SMILE Team

Dec 13, 2010

SMILE for the Holidays in Portland!

Seasons greetings! SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story will open for the holidays in Portland, Oregon at the Hollywood Theatre. Come enjoy an entertaining film that documents the fascinating and surprising history of Up With People. It's a great way to celebrate the season! Screenings will be held on the weekends starting December 17 through the holidays. Tickets on sale now.

4122 Northeast Sandy Boulevard
Portland, OR 97212-5336
(503) 281-4215

December 17-19
December 24-26

Help us fill the house by posting this everywhere you can think of and tell friends and family about the opportunity to see SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS in Portland.

Happy Days from the SMILE Team

Sep 27, 2010


Hi friends!

SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story will screen in Nashville, Tennessee at The Belcourt Theatre on October 11-12 at 7pm. One of the featured cast members is Linda Blackmore Cates who will join Director Lee Storey in the post-screening Q&A. Along with never-before-seen archival footage, Linda Cates gives a compelling and heart-warming perspective of the Up With People experience. If you live anywhere near Nashville, we hope you will attend because this screening will be especially memorable. We anticipate a lively discussion with members of the Up With People and Sing-Out casts, as well as our general audiences. This doc goes beyond the Up With People experience and touches on historic political and ideological themes that continue to this day, including the enduring idealism of youth and desire to make the world a better place. The conversation continues!

Onward to Nashville! Tickets go on sale October 6!

OCTOBER 11-12 @ 7pm
Q&A to follow with Linda Blackmore Cates and Director Lee Storey
2102 Belcourt Avenue
Nashville TN 37212
Box Office: (615) 383-9140
Main Office: (615) 846-3150

Sep 2, 2010

Special Jury Prize from Michael Moore!

We are delighted to announce that SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story won a Special Jury Prize at the Traverse City Film Festival. It was an incredible experience winning an award from Michael Moore and participating on his "Dangerous Docs" panel. It's kind of funny because SMILE isn't "dangerous" unless you imagine sword fighting with feathers. But the documentary does move audiences and generates discussion about an ideologically divided America over the past 40 years. This was one of the best festivals I've ever attended---the quality of movies to the quality of 1200 volunteer staff. It was an experience I'll never forget. Way to go, MICHIGAN!

Here are a couple of interviews at the Traverse City Film Festival.


Jul 11, 2010

Michael Moore's Film Festival in Traverse City, July 30

Is SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS a "Dangerous Doc"????? The Michigan premiere of SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS will be at the Traverse City Film Festival on Friday, July 30 at 12:30pm. Come join the fun with Dangerous Docs at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival.

Friday, July 30 at 12:30pm
1701 E. Front St
Traverse City, MI

Click here for details and tickets:

Jul 5, 2010

SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS to screen on Mackinac Island where Up With People began!

We are pleased to announce a unique opportunity to experience the history of Up With People on Mackinac Island, MI, August 1-2, 2010.

Few people know that Up With People began on Mackinac Island, MI. The Up With People sing-out cast sprang from hootenanny shows conducted by Moral ReArmament (MRA) beginning with a summer youth conference in 1964. The head of MRA at the time was a man named Peter Howard. J. Blanton Belk also helped organize the youth conferences. When Peter Howard died unexpectedly in 1965, Mr. Belk took over as head of MRA in the United States and continued to fashion MRA's Up With People/sing-out program. The Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island was among the impressive properties formerly owned by Moral ReArmament. There, industrious MRA volunteers built additions to the property that still includes the great hall, a theater and state-of-the-art film studio. Mackinac College was also built on site and was operated for MRA/Up With People youth and others until 1970. Click here for background, photos and exhibits.

In the “Tower” at Mission Point Resort, there is an historical museum in which you can view a photographic history of the key leaders in Moral ReArmament, including those who started, developed and maintained Up With People through the decades. The museum’s timeline ends without a full transition to Up With People, although you can see photos of the youth conference with attendees like President Gerald R. Ford. You’ll even see a young J. Blanton Belk performing in MRA plays. Painted murals include the familiar faces of the singing trio, the Colwell Brothers.

Among other themes, SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS documents the MRA mission to change hearts and minds, and then the transition of the Up With People program. The film includes historical and current day footage of the island property and the honest personal reflections of John & Patty Sayre. John Sayre, an Olympic gold medalist, along with his rowing partner Rusty Wailes, had prominent roles in inspiring the youth during these summer conferences and beyond. These summer youth conferences on Mackinac Island are among the unique and fascinating history of Up With People, and the Mission Point Resort and the Tower Museum are worthy of a visit. You won’t be disappointed.

To bookend screenings of SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS at Michael Moore’s film festival in Traverse City (July 27-August 1), the Mission Point Resort is hosting a public screening on Mackinac Island on Sunday, August 1 at 7pm. SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS will screen at the very theater where MRA and Up With People/sing-out performances were held, and where part of SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS was filmed. To celebrate this collaborative event, Mission Point Resort is generously offering a “get-away” package that includes:

* Two night stay (double occupancy), taxes (Sunday/Monday nights)

* Luggage transportation fee from the ferry

* Breakfast each morning for two

* Tower Museum admission tickets

* SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS admission tickets (Q&A with the Director to follow)

* Popcorn and a non-alcoholic drink during the movie

To promote the film, clips of never-before-seen archival footage that may appear in the Director’s cut will be screened at 3pm on August 1. A casual reception with the Director will begin at 5:30pm, just prior to the screening of SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS at 7pm. The Q&A will follow the show.

The total package cost is $394. For more details or to book, contact Nikki at (248) 291-8871 or

Of course, tickets to see SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS on August 1 @ 7pm or to the Tower Museum can be purchased separately, and there is no cost to attend the 5:30pm reception prior to the screening.

If you're interested in the Up With People, Moral ReArmament or the history of Mackinac Island in any way, this is the event to attend!!!



If you live in Tucson, Arizona or plan to attend the 45th reunion of Up With People, you can now see SMILE ‘TIL IT HURTS screening at the local Harkins Theaters from July 27-July 31. It’s less than 20 minutes from the Starr Pass Resort going south on I-19 to Irvington. Harkins Theaters has arranged multiple showtimes to allow Up With People alumni more opportunities to attend. The film is jam-packed with archival footage, historical facts, and personal stories from a variety of perspectives. After the evening shows, please join us for a lively Q&A with the director/cast. Your views are welcomed!


Tuesday, July 27 @ 7pm (Q&A with the director/cast to follow)

Wednesday, July 28 @ 7pm (Q&A with the director/cast to follow)

Thursday, July 29 @ 11am & 2pm

Friday, July 30 @ 11am & 2pm

Saturday, July 31 @ 11am & 2pm

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door: (cut and paste the link in your browser)

DIRECTIONS (or on google maps):


5455 S. Calle Santa Cruz
Tucson, AZ 85706

Take Starr Pass road to I-19 south to Irvington. You can't miss Harkins Tucson Spectrum 18 on the right.

Stay tuned for more news and we hope to see you there!

Jun 19, 2010

Up With People movie screens in Tucson starting 7/27

Great news for local Arizona fans: SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS will screen at Harkins Theaters in Tucson, Arizona during the 45th Up With People reunion! The evening screenings on July 27 and 28 will be followed by a Q&A with the director and cast members. Matinee shows will allow alumni to attend while also participating in the reunion. All screenings are open to the general public. Tickets go on sale soon so check back for screening times:

This will be an event to see and discuss for days to come! Be the first to grab tickets while you can!

Jun 16, 2010

Avid UWP sponsor, James McDonald, dies at 87

Former GM president and CEO of General Motors, Jim McDonald, died on Sunday, June 13, in Florida. He was an avid sponsor, board member and supporter of Up With People, and was instrumental in raising funds to send UWP to the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Without his sponsorship, many Up With People activities during Mikhail Gorbachev's "perestroika" or "restructuring" of the economic and political structure of the Soviet Union would not have been possible. During the Cold War, members of UWP believed that by performing in communist countries and representing a positive, multi-racial, multi-international cast on-stage, they made a difference by changing minds and hearts to Western values of freedom and democracy. Within a historical context, perhaps on some level they did. There is no doubt that the international friendships within Up With People remain.

It is our hope that Jim McDonald is honored at the 45th Up With People reunion in Tucson, Arizona this summer from July 28-August 1. It is richly deserved.

May 24, 2010


For those of you in NYC, please join the entire crew for a screening of SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story tonight at Tribeca Cinemas. This is part of the Tribeca Cinemas Doc Series from Tribeca Film! Hope you can join the us for a Q&A and reception to follow. It's going to be a hoot!


54 Varick St (at Laight St)
Tribeca | Map


Subway: A, C, E, 1 to Canal St. | Directions

Be sure to tweet and retweet us too! And FB it everywhere!

Feb 17, 2010

Tweet for Tribeca Film Doc Series! May 24, 2010!

We are thrilled to tell you that our documentary on Up With People, SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS, will screen at the Tribeca Film Doc Series in NYC on May 24! Do you tweet? If so, please go to the Tribeca Film Doc Series link below and hit the tweet button! Tweet Tweet and Retweet this announcement for SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS and be sure to ask fellow tweeters to retweet as well!

Feb 10, 2010

Penelope Falk Wins Sundance Documentary Editing Award!

Everyone at SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS is sending high fives and big smiles to Penelope Falk who won The Documentary Editing Award at the Sundance Film Festival for her work on JOAN RIVERS--A PIECE OF WORK. Penelope Falk is the brilliant editor that also tackled 40 yrs of archival history and over 800 hours of footage when making SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS: The Up With People Story. Congratulations Penny!

Feb 5, 2010

BIG SKY, SEDONA and SALEM film festivals!

After an amazing 2009, we are off to a great start in the New Year with three new screenings of the award-winning documentary, SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS! Please check it out at these amazing festivals. For tickets in MT, AZ and MA, follow the link in blue. We hope to see you there!

Big Sky Documentary Film Festival - Missoula, MT
Saturday, February 20 @ 3:40 pm

Sedona Film Festival---ARIZONA PREMIERE!!!
Thursday, February 25 @ 11:45 am
Saturday, February 27 @ 7:30 pm

Salem Film Fest - Salem, MA
Saturday, February 27 @ 9:00 pm

With smiles; keep singing!

Jan 3, 2010

Happy New Year from SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS

2010! 2010! 2010!

TEAM GENIUS made 2009 fantastic for SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS, and 2010 promises to be equally rewarding.

We premiered!
We partied!
We sold out shows at film festivals across the US!
We received a Best Director Award!
We had theatrical screenings at the IFC Center in NYC and ArcLight in LA!
We qualified for Oscar consideration!
We delighted movie critics and generated thousands of fans!
We sold our first broadcast --- abroad in 2010!

(Ah yes, we are still in debt but hope our distribution plan will offset that reality in 2010.)

2010 opens with more screenings of SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS at soon-to-be-announced film festivals, and we are working toward theatrical screenings in various indie art houses.


Everyone at SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS wishes you continued happy viewing in 2010!