In a new documentary about Athens art and culture, local filmmaker James Preston embraces the heart and spirit of the city’s creative community.
“Athens Rising 2: Transmittance” is the second installment of Preston’s docu-series. Each part of the series centers around “a different slice of our creative class here in Athens,” Preston said. The first part of the series came out in 2018 and focused on the local arts scene in terms of underground house shows and other non-traditional venues for music and comedy.
The second part of the series, which will be released for public viewing starting Friday, Sept. 20 at Ciné, zooms out to a wider angle of the city to introduce the untold stories of various organizations and discuss the ways in which they contribute to the city’s creative scene.
“I think creativity is at the heart of this city’s potential,” Preston said. “Not just in the arts, but in business and everything else.”
A few of the organizations featured in the second installment of Athens Rising include Nuçi’s Space, Canopy Studio and The Wild Rumpus, along with several other nonprofit and for-profit institutions.
When talking about Nuçi’s Space, Preston said it was considered bold at the time of its creation and has been an asset to the community during the past 20 years.
“Creating a community center for musicians that connects them directly to mental and other health care services was just a hard concept for people to wrap their minds around,” Preston said. “But it worked brilliantly.”
Bryan Redding, director of photography for the film, was brought on board by Preston to help with videography for the film’s food-oriented portions. Redding wanted to show what Athens has to offer and to contribute to its growing film scene through his work with “Athens Rising.”
Redding thought it was cool to be able to work on this project and to showcase the heart of Athens.
“Athens is more than just a place,” Redding said. “It’s actually almost an attitude, an ideal. There’s an artistic undercurrent here, and James really tries to highlight that.”