Hill of Champions
Current Bellator fighter Marlon Sandro, set up a social project in the community of Santo Amaro, Rio de Janeiro designed to help the children of the numerous problems facing the favela trough the teaching of jiu jitsu.
Independent filmmaker Benjamin Bush is producing a film about this project.
We interviewed Benjamin, please check it out below.
JJCML - How did you hear about Marlon’s project ?
BEN :Hill of Champions came about when working on another project intending to follow four fighters from four corners of the world to one event. One of those fighters was Jose Aldo (before he got signed to the WEC). It was then that I learned of Marlon’s social project as Jose Aldo was good friends with Hacran Dias and Eduardo Dantas, two of Marlons best students.
JJCML - What made your decide to produce a film about this cause?
BEN : I have always wanted to make films with empowering storylines that open people’s eyes to new ways of thinking about their fellow human beings – that spread empathy. We are surrounded by negativity; the news shows us this problem and that problem and fills us daily with a sense of dread and fear. With Hill of Champions I found a story that demonstrates perfectly that even in a world filled with turmoil the base human spirit is one of positivity and giving. I believe that people care when they understand and can share experience. What the fighters of Santo Amaro represent to their community to the children who attend their social project and to other communities like theirs resonates equally with all of us. They represent hope, they represent strength and struggle and they represent generosity and humility.
JJCML -What kind of help you need to make it happen ?
BEN : We need people to get involved, to come and visit our crowdfunding site and be a part of our film. Get some exclusive hoodies, T-Shirts, get the DVD on pre-order, take part in the chance to win a trip to Rio, to win a laptop, to meet the fighters and visit the favela – and to spread the word far and wide. Every contribution gets something in return and every donation to our project helps the social project directly financially as well as indirectly through exposure – exposure that will bring investment and change to Santo Amaro and communities like it.
JJCML - Give a shout out to whoever is helping you to get the campaign going.
BEN :I would like to first and foremost give a big thank you to everyone who has supported the project so far by contributing to the crowdfunding campaign. I would also like to thank Nilton , Marlon Sandro, Hacran Dias, Jose Aldo, Eduardo Dantas, Polengue Dias, Renan Barao and many more – and thank the community of Santo Amaro and all the little samurais from the social project itself. We will have some big news soon so I ask everyone to keep their eyes peeled.