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Most people say that the birth of house music comes from the death of disco one fateful July night in 1979, when a raucous crowd in Chicago’s Comiskey Park “demolished” the genre. Move Your Body: the Birth of House tells this story a new way with a mix of cinematic recreation, archival, and sit-down interviews. Move Your Body is a celebration of the power the dance floor has to liberate us all and an appreciation of the artists that kept the beat going all night long. Vince Lawrence, an usher at Comiskey Park the night of disco demolition, sees a crowd off white rabble rousers destroy the music he dreams to make, and he doesn’t take it lying down. Instead, he uses his meagre earnings to buy a synthesizer and a soon after records the first house song. He was not alone. This film puts a much-needed spotlight on the pioneering generation that gave us house music. Move Your Body takes the viewer on a journey through Chicago of the 1960s-present day to revel in the defiant spirit of house artists who refused to be isolated, silenced or ignored. The film is an interrogation of a music industry that turns culture into genre and in the process dispossesses black genius. Move Your Body asks the question: What is the value of pioneering if one doesn’t get to enjoy the spoils of one’s labor? If the groove is one that unites the world if even for a scant few hours, then the answer must be a resounding, “Yes!”

The Filmmakers

Elegance Bratton Director

Elegance Bratton is an award-winning and boundary-breaking director, writer and producer. He began making films as a US Marine after spending a decade homeless. His work captures stories untold with an intention to show the universal power of our shared humanity. Bratton’s films have played in over 200 film festivals worldwide including the New York Film Festival, Toronto, Sundance, Outfest, BFI, Doc NYC, and the BlackStar Film Festival. He was recently named one of VARIETY’s 10 Directors to Watch for 2023.

In 2021, Bratton’s critically-acclaimed feature documentary, PIER KIDS, won the Independent Bratton is currently in post-production on the upcoming feature documentary, HELLFIGHTERS, which highlights the story of African American Jazz pioneer and music mogul James Reese Europe, who was a lieutenant in the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters.

Bratton also co-runs the production company, Freedom Principle, alongside his producing partner, Chester Algernal Gordon.


Chester Algernal Gordon Producer

Chester Algernal Gordon is a producer, costume designer and stylist with a passion for making powerful stories that capture the imagination and inspire. They began working in film production in 2016, and since then Gordon has costumed three Lionsgate feature films, 17 short films, and has produced award-winning films that have played in festivals worldwide including the New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, BFI, Outfest, Reykjavik International Film Festival and New Orleans Film Festival. Gordon’s latest film, Elegance Bratton’s critically-acclaimed THE INSPECTION, starring Jeremy Pope and Gabrielle Union, released in theaters on November 18. The A24 film centers around a young homeless gay man who joins the Marine Corps to win back his mother’s love, but learns how to respect himself at bootcamp. The film has garnered numerous award nominations including from the Golden Globes, Gothams, and Film Independent Spirit Awards. Gordon co-runs the production
company, Freedom Principle, alongside Bratton.

Gordon has produced numerous acclaimed short films and the 2019 feature documentary, PIER KIDS, which won a Truer Than Fiction award at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Best Poster
Design award at the Indie Memphis Film Festival, the Jury Prize at the Sarasota Film Festival, amongst other accolades. They are currently in post-production on the upcoming feature documentary, HELLFIGHTERS, which highlights the story of African American Jazz pioneer and music mogul James Reese Europe, who was a lieutenant in the 369th Infantry Regiment, known as the Harlem Hellfighters.

Roger Ross Williams Executive Producer

Roger Ross Williams is an Oscar, Emmy, Peabody, and NAACP Image award-winning director, producer, and writer –and the first African American director to win an Academy Award ®, with his film MUSIC BY PRUDENCE. Williams directed LIFE, ANIMATED, which won him the Sundance Directing Award, and was nominated for an Academy Award ® and won three Emmys. Williams is the recipient of the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association, The Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award, The NYU Alumni Achievement Award, and an honorary doctorate from Lafayette College.

His production company One Story Up produced the acclaimed food series HIGH ON THE HOG, an adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates's BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME, the Ben Crump documentary CIVIL, the award-winning film MASTER OF LIGHT, and the Primetime Emmy award-winning feature documentary THE APOLLO. Williams' first scripted feature CASSANDRO from Amazon Prime Video had its World premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival to universal acclaim. He also released THE SUPERMODELS for Apple TV+, STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING, based on the book by Ibram X. Kendi, for Netflix, and the Emmy award winning series THE 1619 PROJECT for Disney/Hulu..

Geoff Martz Producer

Geoff Martz is a 5-time Emmy Award winning producer.  He left a long career at ABC in 2018 to co-found One Story Up with Roger Ross Williams.   Since then, he has executive produced THE INNOCENCE FILES (a limited series for Netflix),THE SUPER MODELS (a limited series for Apple TV +), two seasons of the Peabody Award-winning series HIGH ON THE HOG (for Netflix),  CIVIL (a documentary feature about the civil rights attorney Ben Crump), THE 1619 PROJECT (for Hulu based on the Pulitzer-winning New York Times series-- which won the Primetime Emmy for best documentary series), BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME (a documentary feature for HBO based on the book by Ta-Nehisi Coates), MASTER OF LIGHT (a documentary feature for HBO, that won a grand jury prize at SXSW), STAMPED FROM THE BEGINNING (a feature doc based on the New York Times bestseller by Ibram X. Kendi for Netflix which was shortlisted for the 2024 Academy Award for best documentary), and THE BATTLE FOR LAIKIPIA (a doc feature set in Kenya that was shown at Sundance, Hot Docs, and Sheffield).

SIOBHAN SINNERTON Executive Producer

Siobhan is a BAFTA, Peabody and Emmy-winning producer and executive producer with 20 years’ experience in US and UK television working across many genres of factual television, from investigative journalism to popular features. For 10 years she was commissioning editor for current affairs and documentary at Channel 4. Documentaries include The Hunt for Jihadi John, Lyra, In Her Hands, and the Cannes-winning and Oscar-nominated For Sama.

Johnny Webb Executive Producer

Johnny produced the Feature Doc Don’t Look Down, which premiered at Tribeca and sold to Netflix. He has Executive Produced the 8 part series Gutsy for Apple TV+, the Webby nominated If I Could Tell You Just One Thing with Priyanka Chopra for YouTube Originals and the Feature Doc In Her Hands, also for Netflix. He has also done extensive pro bono work on impact campaigns including