Shoulder the Lion

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    Shoulder the Lion

    Directed by



    74 min

    • English


    Hot Docs

    Using stories of three artists who have lost a sense defining their art, this visual essay explores meaning of images, fragility of memories and desire for relevance in today's world. A photographer, who is blind, questions the power of images in today's image saturated culture. Forced to give up his dream of playing music due to his hearing loss, musician must reinvent his future. A painter, who was the inspiration for the Academy Award winning film MILLION DOLLAR BABY, searches for her place in life unsure of what she should be to the world. The film attempts to ask what it takes for someone to keep on going in times of uncertainty, and uses unique film form to produce the answers.


    • American Cinematographer Award for Best Cinematography - Salem FF
    • FIPRESCI Award - Krakow FF
    • Best Doc and Best Film - Trenton FF


    Labels & Line Ups


    Katie Dallam
    Graham Sharpe
    Alice Wingwall
    Patryk Rebisz
    Erinnisse Rebisz
    Graham Sharpe
    Colin Stetson


    The visually meditative aspects of SHOULDER THE LION are very much in the tradition of "Baraka" and "Samsara," but with more focused and personal subject matter.

    Reza Rad, Scene Creek

    Superbly crafted art film. [...] Don't miss this one if art is in any way part of your life. Even more so if it is not.

    Robin E. Simmons, CV Weekly

    A must-see.

    Jacqueline Strawbridge, Irish Daily Mail

    Far from ordinary. [...] This is no run of the mill documentary.

    Robert K Stephen, The Windsor Square

    Visual treat about some very abstract notions and ideas.

    Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter

    Exciting your senses, SHOULDER THE LION has opened the doors for artistic cinematic storytelling in the documentary format for many years to come.

    Fernado Fernandez, FernTV

    SHOULDER THE LION is one of the more unique documentaries I’ve seen — and a work of art in itself.

    Stephen Pizzello, American Cinematographer Magazine

    Erinnisse Rebisz

    Erinnisse Rebisz


    Erinnisse, is a seasoned editor for television and film, born and based in NYC. Her credits include numerous unscripted TV shows and documentaries such as WHAT NOT TO WEAR, 24 HOUR RESTAURANT BATTLE, TOY HUNTER, CANDY QUEEN, JERSEY COUTURE, AMERICAN PICK OFF and IMAGINATION UNLEASHED AND ARTISAN'S JOURNEY. MADONNA OF THE MILLS a feature-­length documentary she edited premiered on HBO in 2011 and was nominated for a Genesis Award for Best Television Documentary. SHOULDER THE LION is her debut feature as a director.

    Patryk Rebisz

    Patryk Rebisz


    Patryk, from Poland but residing in New York City, is a director/director of photography. He has shot and directed hundreds of various productions, almost a dozen feature­length films, numerous music videos as well as commercials and television shows. His short film BETWEEN YOU AND ME has garnered him worldwide awards and recognition for its innovative use of still photography. SHOULDER THE LION is his debut in a roll of a feature­length director.