This is the feature directorial debut of co-director Matt Durning and second feature from co-director D.L. Anderson (Farmer/Veteran). The Vittles Films and Interlocking Pictures documentary premiered to rave reviews at its World Premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and at DOC NYC. Greenwich will release the film in theaters on June 17 and will appear on Amazon and Apple+ TV July 5, 2022.
The only thing mightier than Lena Mae Perry’s electrifying voice is her faith. She’s spent the last 50 years sharing and sharpening both as the steadfast bandleader of The Branchettes, a legendary North Carolina gospel group that has packed churches throughout the South and lifted hearts as far away as Ireland. Stay Prayed Up is a spirited celebration, inviting audiences into “Mother” Perry’s close-knit community as the 83-year-old strives to extend The Branchettes’ sacred song ministry ever forward. The film follows The Branchettes as they record their first live album, a hallmark in the canon of Black gospel groups. Through shared prayer, laughter and praise, this “church gospel noisy crew” demonstrates that music, like faith, ain’t nothing without some fire inside.
“We believe Stay Prayed Up offers a well-timed, welcomed dose of spiritual and communal uplift,” said Co-Director Anderson. Co-Director Matt Durning added, “We are thrilled to partner with Greenwich to offer this soul stirring experience to a range of theatrical audiences seeking healing and renewal, regardless of their faith practice or background.”
Stay Prayed Up was produced by Mikel Barton, Phil Cook, Lena C. Williams, and Leslie Raymond. Greenwich’s Andy Bohn negotiated the acquisition with Cinetic Media’s Jason Ishikawa on behalf of the filmmakers.