Uma Thurman Narrates a Sweeping IOC Blockbuster as Olympic Fever Kicks Off

Prettybird's Max Malkin Directs Film With Tagline 'Together We Can Change the World'

By Alexandra Jardine. Published on Apr 21, 2016

Editor's Pick

"Together, we can change the world," is the message of this year's opener to the Rio 2016 Olympics, a sweeping, blockbuster-style film from the International Olympic Committee putting the spotlight on athletes and ordinary people around the world as they demonstrate the power of sport.

The PSA, which coincides with the lighting of the Olympic torch today in Olympia, Greece, was created by VML and directed by Prettybird's Max Malkin, who has helmed music videos for the likes of Eminem and Green Day. Percussionist and DJ Questlove executive produced on the music side, re-recording the song, "The Fire,", originally by Questlove and The Roots, as the soundtrack, using artists including America's Lenny Kravitz, British singer Corinne Bailey Rae, African artist NNeka and Asian artist Yuna. Uma Thurman provides the English voiceover, while Juliette Binoche narrates the French version, Paz Vega the Spanish and Tais Araujo the Portuguese.

Aiming to tell "the story of core Olympic values and their role in uniting the world through sport," the film shows not just famous athletes such as Usain Bolt, but kids running and playing sport (some in their country's native dress), ordinary people using their bodies for other activities, like haymaking, and footage of previous Olympics. There's also a nod to the watching audience, with clips of families around the globe watching tense moments of Olympic competition.

The films were shot in 90-second (seen here), 30-second, and 15-second formats, and have been made available to all Olympic broadcasters across the world for television, digital and social distribution.

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Apr 21, 2016
International Olympic Committee
Global Chief Creative Officer:
Debbi Vandeven
Executive Creative Director:
Mike Wente
Executive Creative Director:
John Godsey
Group Creative Director:
Stephen Martin
Matthew Dickman
Executive Producer:
Tyler Smith
Senior Producer:
Erik Iversen
Group Planning Director:
Tomas Gonsorcik
Managing Director, Team IOC:
Elizabeth Rowny
Production Company:
Max Malkin
Line Producer:
Justine Madero
Editorial Company:
Rock Paper Scissors
Massive Music
Creative Director/Executive Producer:
Diederik van Middelkoop
Tom Poole/Company3
Senior Director of Marketing:
Daniela Negreda, IOC
Head of Marketing:
Melinda May
Music Supervisor:
Jonathan Hecht
Executive Business Director:
Chris Furse
Chief Innovation Officer:
Brian Yamada
Executive Producer:
Kolby Slocum
Senior Producer:
Tamara Lund
Anthony Ramirez
Music Production Company:
Massive Music
Production Company:
Passyunk Productions
Executive Producer:
Ahmir Thompson (Questlove)

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