Inspired by Lee’s award-winning documentary, Planet B-Boy, “Battle of the Year” showcases the exhilarating realm of competitive dancing with unprecedented depth and insight, as some of the world’s most elite teams ignite the screen with an astonishing display of athleticism, power and grace.
To be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas nationwide starting Nov. 6, “Battle of the Year” stars Josh Holloway (TV’s “Lost”), Laz Alonso (“Fast and Furious 6”), Josh Peck (“Red Dawn”), Caity Lotz (TV’s “Mad Men”) and Grammy®-winning recording artist Chris Brown (“Stomp the Yard”) as Rooster.
The film also stars a crew of real life b-boys including Jon “Do Knock” Cruz, Jesse “Casper” Brown, Ivan “Flipz” Velez, Joshua Lee “Milky” Ayers, Richard “Lil Adonis” Maguire, David “Kid David” Shreibman, Sawandi Wilson, Anis Cheurfa, Steve Terada, Gil “Gillatine” Brace-Wessel, Sammy “SamO” Soto, Richie “Abstrak” Soto and Luis Rosado.
Battle of the Year is an international dance crew tournament that attracts all the best teams from around the world, but the Americans haven’t won in fifteen years. Los Angeles Hip Hop mogul Dante (Alonso) wants to put the country that started the Sport back on top. He enlists his hard-luck friend Blake (Holloway), who was a championship basketball coach, to coach his team. Armed with the theory that the right coach can make any team champions, they assemble a Dream Team of all the best dancers across the country. With only three months until Battle of the Year, Blake has to use every tactic he knows to get twelve talented individuals to come together as a team if they’re going to bring the Trophy back to America where it started.
B-boying is the innovative and athletic dance form that originated on the streets of New York City during the 1970s and became one of the four cornerstones of hip-hop culture, along with emceeing, graffiti and DJing. Dubbed “break dancing” by the media, b-boying achieved overwhelming visibility in popular culture. Its luster eventually faded in the U.S., even as it continued to flourish around the world, as director Lee Benson discovered in his award-winning 2007 documentary, Planet B-Boy. Today, the basic moves first developed over 30 years ago have evolved into a highly sophisticated and acrobatic form of dance that can be legitimately compared to top-flight Olympic gymnastics.
Battle of the Year (or BOTY) is a real life event that takes place each year in France, attracting crews from around the world. “The competition has been going on for over 20 years,” says producer Amy Lo, who also collaborated with Lee on his documentary. “It’s a global event that attracts thousands of people. You can’t imagine the energy.”
Although the film’s storyline is strictly fictional, it is deeply infused with the spirit of the documentary, using elements of different dancers’ experiences to craft a classic story. “A brilliant coach has fallen on hard times and a hip hop executive wants him to put together the best dance crew in the world,” says producer Tripp Vinson. “The world of b-boying tends to be about the individual and the coach teaches them to become a team so that they can compete in the Battle of the Year.”
“Battle of the Year” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.