Select Press Coverage of SING SING: the Feature Film Based on RTA’s Theater Program
SING SING premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, 2023. Read select press coverage below.
Learn more about the film and the RTA program HERE.
DEADLINE: ‘Sing Sing’ Review: Greg Kwedar’s Ode To The Humanity Behind The Bars – Toronto Film Festival
“The film leaves its audience with a resonating thought: that behind every prison number, there exists a human, yearning for acceptance, understanding, and a chance to rewrite their story."
"Sing Sing presents a vibrant tapestry, highlighting the lighter moments in the otherwise shadowed confines of incarceration. At the heart of this is the Rehabilitation Through The Arts (RTA) program. An oasis in the desert of the penal system, RTA illuminates the film’s central theme: that even behind bars, the spirit can soar, uninhibited, into the expanses of imagination and creativity."
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: ‘Sing Sing’ Review: Colman Domingo Shines in a Subtle Portrait of a Prison Arts Program
"an urgent document of our time."
"Kwedar’s film is a portrait of friendship and a tribute to art’s restorative value. The helmer’s considered direction coaxes a lot of big lessons from this quiet film. Sing Sing is about the gift of creating with community and the redemptive nature of self-expression."
“Domingo’s transcendent performance — he’s also here at the festival with the Netflix-backed Rustin, but this is the one to watch for me — may be the center, but it’s the world that flowers all around him that makes Sing Sing feel so special. Currently seeking distribution at TIFF, it ought to win over many more audiences from here.”
“Written in collaboration with people formerly incarcerated at the Sing Sing, the story of a theatrical prison troupe finds deep beauty in an effort to make art for art’s sake.”
VARIETY: ‘Sing Sing’ Review: Colman Domingo and a Cast of Ex-Criminals Demonstrate How Art Can Heal in Prison
“Cages can’t contain the sheer amount of imagination on offer in “Sing Sing”
“Domingo gives a commanding performance…Adding quite a lot to the proceedings is Paul Raci, who brought similar integrity and soulfulness to “Sound of Metal.”
“There’s a live-wire energy to scenes where the whole cast participates, accentuated by Scola’s whirlwind camerawork and the nimble and energetic piano-and-string score from Bryce Dessner during rehearsal scenes.”
"A24 has acquired theatrical distribution rights to “Sing Sing,” five days after the Colman Domingo-starring drama made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The indie banner confirmed the deal Friday evening.
Directed by Greg Kwedar, the film is inspired by the Rehabilitation Through the Arts program at the Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York, following a group of inmates who collaborate on stage shows."
"A24 has landed the U.S. rights to Sing Sing, the Colman Domingo-fronted drama that premiered at Toronto Film Festival about a performing arts prison program.
Greg Kwedar directs the feature that focuses on the real-life Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) program run out of the eponymous prison that sees the incarcerated producing and acting in stage productions. The story centers on the friendship of RTA alumni John “Divine G” Whitfield (portrayed by Domingo) and Clarence “Divine Eye” Maclin, who plays himself, as they stage an original production."
"Domingo’s performance in Sing Sing is a showstopper, as I wrote in my review, but the film is a true ensemble effort, cowritten by director Greg Kwedar and Clint Bentley in collaboration with two Sing Sing prison alumni, one of whom plays himself in the film. It’s a film full of small miracles that deserves a long life beyond the festival."
“A redemptive portrait of theater’s power to heal, emancipate, and rebel.”
"....There’s an urgency and a grit to it, and a sense of lives lost and occasionally regained. These men aren’t making great theater, but behind these walls they’re doing something other than waiting for time to run out."
“But the action, much of it stormy, takes place inside. The former inmates playing themselves bring verisimilitude to “Sing Sing,” with Maclin particularly crucial. But Domingo brings the storm and the heart; the performance won’t overshadow “Rustin” this awards season, but it’s another sign that the time has come for this deep and soulful actor to get some real attention."
THAT SHELF: TIFF 2023: Sing Sing Review, A cast of formerly incarcerated actors bring life and energy to Sing Sing
"Brimming with energy and life, Sing Sing is a joyous, celebratory film whose greatest aim is to spread the message that the industrial prison complex needs radical change and that broken human beings can be made whole again through the arts.
"A stunning achievement"
"It is impossible to stress the impact SING SING has made on me.. the performances resonated with me, hours after leaving the rapturously received world premiere that I attended."