Press Release

U.S. Skating selects the watsons to oversee "Rise"

<i>RISE</i> will celebrate American figure skating while recounting the story of the 1961 U.S. world figure skating team that perished in a plane crash on its way to the world championships.
RISE will celebrate American figure skating while recounting the story of the 1961 U.S. world figure skating team that perished in a plane crash on its way to the world championships. (courtesy U.S. Figure Skating)

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(05/06/2010) - COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Figure Skating announced today that the watsons, a New York based "creativity company" specializing in integrated brand development, will oversee the marketing of the first in-depth film project commissioned by U.S. Figure Skating.

The film, entitled RISE, will celebrate American figure skating while honoring the 1961 U.S. World Team that perished in a tragic plane crash in Brussels, Belgium. With the stories about the 1961 team at its center, the film will serve as an uplifting celebration of the sport of figure skating. The film will feature the compelling, interwoven stories of some of the biggest names and moments in the history of figure skating.

The film is being produced and directed by Lookalike Productions. Founded in 2002 by twin sisters Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern, Lookalike has earned 16 Emmy Awards for its television and film productions.

"We believe the watsons and Lookalike Productions are the right team to share these important stories and effectively communicate their impact on the world of figure skating," said David Raith, executive director of U.S. Figure Skating.

Scheduled to premiere Feb. 17, 2011, the film will also be used to further the mission of U.S. Figure Skating's Memorial Fund, which was established in memory of the 1961 team to support U.S. skaters.

"The watsons are so proud to have been chosen to help bring this amazing story to the nation's attention," said Maggie Monteith, creative partner with the watsons. "This will be a film that focuses on an equally central and essential truth: One person's dreams can be fulfilled by another's. The dreams interrupted on February 15, 1961, have not gone unfulfilled -- they are realized by all who share them, and give rise to the dreams of generations to come."

"Figure skating has such an illustrious history in the United States," said Jennifer Williams, partner with the watsons and account director for this project, "And the team from 1961 played a big role in shaping that history. In many ways, this is a story about the humanity and transcendence of sport, and how it helps us discover something in ourselves we never knew existed."

More details about the film project and the premiere of the film will be released as they become available.