Award-winning documentary director Nico Sabenorio hit the road to profile the life of the American farmer for the new music video, ‘Ballad of Hollis Brown.’ The powerful song, performed by rock band RISE AGAINST is part of the album, “Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan” saluting two iconic cultural forces: Bob Dylan and Amnesty International.
Currently profiled on MTV, VH1 and Fuse, Sabenorio joined the band in Chicago to create an authentic footage documentary/music video hybrid that explores the struggles of modern day American farmers. The original folk song, written and released by Bob Dylan back in 1964, tells the tale of one farmer, Hollis Brown, who falls on hard times. Sabenorio and Rise Against expand on that theme for the new video, widening its scope to examine the challenges faced by the American agricultural workers and drawing connections to poverty at large.
A seasoned documentary filmmaker, Sabenorio was excited to merge his style of filmmaking with a socially conscious band like Rise Against, commenting, “We made the video on the road from Chicago to California, exploring 2000 miles of agricultural America and getting to know real family farmers and ranchers on and off the beaten path. There were no actors in this video. I rigged my laptop so I could edit on the road, literally on the road – from the backseat of our 4WD while the production manager drove. The trip was an eye opener for me – family farmers are facing a great deal of challenges, from big agriculture to drought to genetic engineering. Hopefully the video will be just as eye opening for viewers.”
Sabenorio, an award winning documentary director, recently gained attention for directing the inspiring “Life After Meth” campaign for Partnership for at DrugFree.org (formerly Partnership for a Drug Free America) and Office for National Drug Control Policy which chronicled real meth addicts who recovered and turned their lives around. He also earned high praise as director of the documentary film “The Slave Next Door” for National Geographic which was featured on the Larry King Live show.
Currently, Sabenorio is in production on a documentary for The Partnership at DrugFree.org exploring one of the fastest growing problems in the country, prescription drug abuse. In addition, he is in development on a narrative feature about youth violence in middle-America, based on his award winning 2010 documentary, “Bout that Bout.”
With a passion for spreading awareness of social issues through cinematic, emotional non-fiction films, Sabenorio has explored such topics as human trafficking, youth violence, agricultural poverty, crystal meth and prescription drug abuse. This former student of New York University's famed Tisch School of the Arts has directed for such organizations as National Geographic, Interscope Records, The Partnership at DrugFree.org and Amnesty International.