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Call Me Dancer – Watch the trailer for the new documentary

Abramorama has announced that they have acquired North American theatrical distribution rights for the inspiring feature-length documentary Call Me Dancer. Directed by Leslie Shampaine and Pip Gilmour, Abramorama will release the film in theaters, kicking off with the New York theatrical engagement at the Quad Cinema beginning Friday, December 15th, and expanding across North America thereafter.

Call Me Dancer tells the story of Manish, an athletic street dancer from Mumbai, whose working-class parents depend on their only son’s support. When he accidentally walks into an inner-city dance school and encounters a brilliant and curmudgeonly 70-year-old Israeli ballet master, a hunger develops within him. Ambitious and passionate, Manish is determined to make it as a professional dancer, but the odds are stacked against him. Call Me Dancer is a story of hope, heartache, and hard work. Together, Manish and Yehuda transform each other’s lives, searching to uncover who and what they are. Yehuda seeks purpose and a place to call home. Manish dreams of dancing on the world-stage but struggles to break free from the confines of his economic and social circumstances.

Abramorama CEO & Co-Chairman Karol Martesko-Fenster said, “Leslie and Pip, along with the Call Me Dancer team have been able to craft a very entertaining and heartwarming film about a young man who pursues his passion vigorously against all odds. We are thrilled to be able to bring this joyride of mentorship, perseverance, and human spirit, that is resonating with audiences around the world, to the American public.”

Since its world premiere at Santa Barbara International Film Festival in February 2023, Call Me Dancer has been receiving critical and audience acclaim; winning 10 awards. Among these five are Audience Awards – at Berkshire International Film Festival, San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival, Tasveer South Asian Film Festival, Seattle. The film has also received the Excellence in Documentary Directing Award from NY Women in Film and Television at New York Indian Film Festival; Best Director at Indian Film Festival of Cincinnati; Art of Storytelling Award at Doc Edge Film Festival in New Zealand; Youth Jury Award at DOKUart Festival in Croatia, and at the upcoming 2023 Hamptons Doc Fest the Art & Inspiration Award. Call Me Dancer has also received Honorable Mention for Best Documentary at International South Asian Film Festival in Canada. Additional festivals include Opening Night Film at Dance on Camera Film Festival in New York City and London Indian Film Festival. Acclaim includes Elizabeth Zimmer from Village Voice calling it “dramatic” and a “Feel-good film”; Celia Ipiotis of Eye On The Arts, citing it a “Compelling tale of perseverance, passion and friendship.”

Director Leslie Shampaine added, “This is a film about a dancer, by a dancer. But while making it, it became much bigger than that – it is about passion, determination, the love of an art form. Even when the stakes are high and the chance of succeeding small – whatever the outcome, it is about the joy of going there and aiming for it.”

Filmed in India, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the United States over five years, the film features two original songs by Jay Sean, music by Bangladeshi American hip-hop artist Anik Khan, and a score by award-winning, British-Indian composer Nainita Desai and Nina Humphreys. International pop icon, singer and songwriter Jay Sean executive produced Call Me Dancer because the story resonated with his own; as a British-Indian, Sean’s parents wanted him to pursue medicine rather than his dream of becoming a singer.

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