discovery+ has acquired the Lily Topples the World, the winner of the 2021 SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2021 San Francisco International Film Festival.
Directed by Jeremy Workman, the film tells the coming of age story of 20-year-old Lily Hevesh – the world’s most acclaimed domino artist and the only woman in her field.
Filmed for over 3 years across countless cities and featuring appearances by Jimmy Fallon, Katy Perry, Will Smith, YouTuber Casey Neistat, and a steady stream of Gen-Z creators, Lily Topples the World is a unique portrait of an artist, a story of how passion and artistry can make dreams come true, and an unlikely American tale of a quiet Chinese adoptee who transforms into a global artistic force with over 1 billion YouTube views. Directed by Jeremy Workman (The World Before Your Feet) and executive produced by Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), in her first film in a producing role, Lily Topples the World, will launch globally this Summer on discovery+.
Director Jeremy Workman states “Lily Topples the World is a coming of age story of a quiet young woman who speaks with her art and finds confidence and self-assuredness through her craft. I’m thrilled to partner with discovery+ to highlight this amazing woman!”
In addition, discovery+ will launch a slate of new documentaries from talented filmmakers from around the world. From a look at a Bronx educator who is on a mission to change the way students eat, to a tale of two brothers who took different paths in life, to the inspiring story of a disabled performance artist and break dancer, discovery+ will take audiences on a diverse and enlightening journey this year.
Below are a list of titles launching in 2021 (in chronological order) —
MY NAME IS BULGER (launching, June 17)
Bill Bulger, now 85, was State Senate President for almost 20 years, in Massachusetts. His older brother James ‘Whitey’ Bulger was a Boston gangster who was murdered in prison on October 30th 2018, aged 89. MY NAME IS BULGER weaves its way through the stories of both brothers and their respective rises and falls. The film strips away the hysteria of daily print headlines and nightly news bulletins to unfold the story of a unique American family who crave to be judged for who they are and what they’ve done, not what their infamous relative did. Directed by Brendan J. Byrne
THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD (launching August 16)
Chronicling the journey of four American teenagers who study abroad in countries that dramatically outperform the United States in education, THE SMARTEST KIDS IN THE WORLD gives voice to students, hearing first-hand their discoveries and insights about how to reform U.S. high school education. Based on Amanda Ripley’s New York Times Bestseller, the film is directed by Tracy Droz Tragos.
GROWTH GENERATION (launching August 23)
Health and educational outcomes in low-income areas across America are staggering low. Stephen Ritz, a Bronx educator, is on a mission to change all that. He developed an incredibly successful indoor gardening curriculum that allows children to grow vegetables in the classroom, helping them eat better, be more engaged with school and give them pathways for jobs. GROWTH GENERATION follows Ritz as he expands his program throughout the country, bringing hope, health and opportunity to those communities and students who need it the most. Directed by Mu Sun; distributed by Shout! Studios.
CRUTCH (launching October 18)
CRUTCH chronicles the gravity-defying life of Bill Shannon, an internationally renowned artist, break-dancer, and skate punk – on crutches. The film follows Shannon’s extraordinary journey: the history of his medical odyssey and his struggles with chronic pain, the evolution of his crutch dancing and skating, his rise to become a world-renowned performance artist, and his transformation from angry skate punk to an international hero. CRUTCH also dives into Shannon’s provocative street performances, in which he exposes the hidden world of assumptions disabled people encounter in the public daily. While the film questions his early exploitation of strangers’ good Samaritan impulses, it also marvels at Shannon’s ability to create solutions and empower others to navigate similar challenges. From childhood “cripple” to international provocateur, CRUTCH is an emotional story of a one-of-a-kind artist’s struggle to be understood. Directed by Sachi Cunningham and Vayabobo (Chandler Evans); distributed by Shout! Studios.