home page > Paralympic film ‘Rising Phoenix’ premieres globally on Netflix

Paralympic film ‘Rising Phoenix’ premieres globally on Netflix

Release Time: 2020.09.14 From: The Site Editor Viewed: Viewed:

Paralympianshail launch of ground-breaking movie featuring the story of theParalympic Games to coincide with one-year-to-go celebrations forTokyo 202026 Aug 2020

TrailblazingParalympics documentary ‘Rising Phoenix’ premieresglobally in over 190 countries today (26 August) on Netflix tocoincide with the one-year-to-go celebrations for the Tokyo 2020Paralympic Games.

Featuringnine Paralympians from across the world, this cutting-edge movietells the remarkable story of the Paralympic Games from the rubble ofWorld War II until becoming the third biggest sporting event on theplanet.

‘RisingPhoenix’ examines how the Paralympics have sparked a globalmovement throughout the decades and shows how it continues to changethe way the world thinks about disability, excellence, diversity andhuman potential.

BebeVio (Italy), EllieCole (Australia), Jean-BaptisteAlaize (France), MattStutzman (USA), JonniePeacock (GreatBritain), Cui Zhe (China), RyleyBatt(Australia), NtandoMahlangu (SouthAfrica) and TatyanaMcFadden (USA)are the nine Paralympic athletes whose exceptional stories aredepicted.


Multiple-swimmingParalympic champion Cole strongly believes ‘Rising Phoenix’will help take the Movement in to the next level.

“WhenI see a piece of work like this one, and especially something that abrand like Netflix is taking up, I think back to when I was 9 or 10years old and not knowing that Para sport even existed,” shesaid.

“I’veseen the evolution to what it has become to the point where there’sa Netflix documentary and that is something else. It makes me proudbecause I’ve seen it change so dramatically. I know what itused to be like.

“Ithink people who watch the film, particularly those who aren’tfans already, are going to finally understand that the ParalympicMovement is really multi-dimensional. It’s actually so cool.”

Paralympicathletics silver medallist Mahlangu is one of the rising Paralympicstars, having made a name for himself at the young age of 18following many successes on the track.

Heagrees with Cole that this documentary is an example of sport’spower for uniting the world.

“Whatis definitely in my heart is the story of the Paralympians. I thinkthis is a platform where people will learn about the Paralympics andthis is what I wanted.

“Peopleare going to start supporting Paralympics, people are going to startknowing what the Paralympics are, so it’s going to be a goodplatform for everyone in the Paralympics.

“Sportsare supposed to keep us together and to bring us together and I thinkthis film is definitely going to do that, not only for people whoknow about the Paralympics but it’s going to bring the wholeworld together.”


Bornwithout arms, archer Stutzman is a well-known name in the Paralympicswith his unique feet-shooting style.

The37-year-old from Team USA athlete: “I think (the movie) istrying to bring awareness to everyone who is watching. Yes, we havephysical disabilities but that does not stop us. We can still livenormal lives; we can still be the person who goes to the grocerystore and gets food. We can live like everybody else.

"Inthis documentary they really allowed me to just be me. If I wanted tobe funny, I could be funny. If I wanted to do something specific,they were very open about showing the world who Matt Stutzman was.For me, that made it amazing because most of the time they have anidea of what they want you to say or talk about, but because of thisfreedom I could show the world a different side of Matt. Maybe whatMatt really is. To get that opportunity in such a film makes it evenbetter.”

Atthe same time, wheelchair rugby legend Batt wishes he could watch'Rising Phoenix’ together with his grandfather. “I was bymyself the first time I saw Rising Phoenix, and it even had me intears. My Pop knows he was a big influence on my life but God, hewould be proud to see this.

“Poploved to get behind the camera, and he filmed some of the footage yousee in the movie. He was very proud of me and he would be reallystoked that I’m in a documentary like that, embracing who I am.

“Iwatched the movie for the second time with my family and they wereall in tears. It wasn’t tears of 'I feel so sorry for you.' Itwas tears of pride, seeing what myself and these other athletes haveovercome and also the challenges that we’ve all accepted.”

AndrewParsons, IPC President, said: “There is absolutely no doubtthat this film will transform every single person who watches it.This is a film that will empower so many people around the world andfurther bring to life the vision of the Paralympic Movement’sfounder Sir Ludwig Guttmann.

“Tocall this movie a game-changer for the Paralympic Movement is anunderstatement. It is a very special film and I cannot wait for theworld to see it.”


RisingPhoenix is an HTYT Films and Passion Pictures production inassociation with Ventureland and Misfits Entertainment.

Thetitle track from the film ‘Rising Phoenix’, scored byDaniel Pemberton and performed by Krip Hop Nation, isavailable to download from all major online outlets