Briscoe Center's "When I Rise" Nominated for International Documentary Award

"When I Rise," a Dolph Briscoe Center for American History documentary film about African-American mezzo-soprano Barbara Smith Conrad, has been nominated for a prestigious International Documentary Association (IDA) award in the Music Documentary category.

Winners will be honored on Dec. 3 at the Directors Guild Theater in Los Angeles in a ceremony hosted by award-winning documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. The IDA is one of the leading organizations in the world of documentary film and filmmaking.

"This has been another banner year for documentary films, and that is reflected in our list of nominees," says Michael Lumpkin, IDA executive director. "Entries to the Awards increased by nearly 20 percent this year, and the quality of the films vying for recognition is unprecedented."

"When I Rise" is a production of the Briscoe Center and was directed by Austin filmmaker Mat Hames, produced by James Moll and Michael Rosen, executive produced by Don Carleton and made possible in part by ATandT.

"The IDA nomination is a significant benchmark in the historical development of the Briscoe Center," says Carleton, executive director of the center. "We are honored to be among the films considered for this coveted recognition."

"When I Rise" tells the inspiring story of Conrad, a gifted University of Texas at Austin music student who finds herself at the epicenter of racial controversy, struggling against the odds and ultimately ascending to the heights of international opera. An object lesson on living life with dignity and grace, the documentary will premiere on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series "Independent Lens," hosted by America Ferrera, on Feb. 8, 2011, at 9 p.m. (check local listings).

Since its premiere at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival, "When I Rise" has been named an official selection of the Dallas International Film Festival, the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, the Indianapolis International Film Festival (Black Expressions Award and Audience Award), the New York City International Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival and the Denver Film Festival.