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High Strung This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

A passion: something that makes you feel alive, fills you with a unique kind of joy, and is worth the dedication, perseverance, and relentless effort.  Any given passions, no matter the obvious differences, will always have this similarity.


High Strung, a 2016 film directed by Michael Damian, not only acknowledges this truth, but demonstrates it with the tale of three separate passions fusing together as one.


The film starts with Ruby Adams, played by actress and ballerina Keenan Kampa, arriving in New York City to attend The Manhattan Conservatory of the Arts (MCA) on a full scholarship.  In the city, she meets a British violinist with a bad-boy attitude by the name of Johnnie Blackwell, portrayed by Nicholas Galitzine, who lives upstairs from The SwicthSteps, a hip-hop crew featuring So You Think You Can Dance All-Star, Comfort Fedoke, as PopTart.


After realizing how well their passions fit together, Ruby, Johnnie and The SwitchSteps decide to enter the Peterson Foundation String and Dance Competition for the $25,000 cash prize and the violinist scholarship to MCA.  If they win, the hip-hop crew will be recognized for their raw talent and be able to put a spotlight on the skills their type of art requires, Johnnie will be able to build a solid career from his talent along with getting the visa card privileges that come with the scholarship that will solve his American citizenship problem and free him from his financial stress, while Ruby can explore her potential and test out her creative side.


All of the characters’ emotions were easily understood, and connection with each individual was easily formed, making the movie that much more enjoyable.  The plotline is familiar enough that audience members will have no trouble grasping the idea of the movie, but the overall vibe is unique and creative enough that they won’t feel as if they’ve already seen the movie with different characters and a different title.


With the creativity and commitment that so many people possess, relationships will be made with the characters chasing their dreams and devoting everything they have to their passions.  This movie will be thoroughly respected and appreciated by anyone with a musical inclination or a knack for the creative, expressive arts.  With that said, this inspiring film is not limited to a specific group of people.  Anyone who has a passion in life or likes to just let go and indulge in something they love will really enjoy this movie.


Singer, actor, and director, Michael Damian has been involved with many successes in the past, including Marley & Me, Flicka, and more.  These films have been enjoyed by many, and his newest film, High Strung, is no exception.




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