Mother Lena Mae Perry and The Branchettes, will be on stage to perform after the screening, adding a truly uplifting finale to the film! The Wisconsin Film Festival invites you, your friends, family, and the entire community to this free screening of STAY PRAYED UP.
The first thing you’ll notice about Lena Mae Perry, the subject of the documentary Stay Prayed Up, is her electrifying voice and commanding presence. Steadfast bandleader of The Branchettes, “Mother” Perry leads her group, which includes pianist Wilbur Tharpe and Wisconsin-born musician Phil Cook, through the recording of their first live gospel album at Long Branch Disciples of Christ Church in Newton Grove, NC. Through archival footage, contemporary musical performance, and meandering conversations, a moving portrait of Mother Perry emerges. She is a pillar of Black gospel, a devoted mother and businesswoman, and above all, as the poignant conclusion reveals, the glue that holds her community together.
Stay Prayed Up premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in September 2021 and will have its theatrical release later this spring. Following the screening, Mother Perry and the Branchettes will bring their rousing gospel energy to the Memorial Union stage for a live concert you won’t want to miss! (KC) --Wisconsin Film Festival