Renee Rodrigues, One Very Tough Princess - by Jessica Vitullo, - Posted May 26, 2010

 

Golden Sheaf Awards - Posted April 22, 2010

 

WorldFest - Houston Award - Posted April 22, 2010

 

Suck It Up, Princess - Review by film critic Walter Owen, NYC - Posted March 28, 2010

 

Portuguese language documentary premieres - Posted March 15, 2010

 

Canadian Documentary Premiere on OMNI.1 - Posted March 12, 2010:

 

 

 

Renee Rodrigues, One Very Tough Princess

by Jessica Vitullo, 12 May 2010

 

There are challenges that occur in life that make us think we cannot cope; we feel like we cannot overcome them. The extraordinary journey of Renee Rodrigues teaches us that there is no greater obstacle than simply how we choose to live our lives; and, in certain cases, we just have to suck it up.

 

Renee is a tremendous 21-year-old woman who has done many wonderful things in her life, despite the fact that she was diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy. "I have had countless surgeries, three near-death experiences, and many challenges," says Renee. In Grade 9, she underwent surgery to insert a breathing tube into her neck. While attending school, she says, "I took very small course loads, as I couldn't handle the full eight courses due to my being sick." In Grade 11, Renee had to be home schooled because of her health.

 

At the age of 13, Renee started her own charity event. Since she spent so much time in SickKids Hospital, she thought it would be a great idea to raise funds to keep the toys, game systems, and craft supplies handy for others to enjoy. Renee's Christmas Craft and Bake Sale was put into action in November 2002. The event has raised between $300 and $700 every year since.

Despite being in a wheelchair, living with a tracheotomy, using a feedtube, and being in pain everyday, Renee has developed a busy online life as a blogger and web designer, incorporating her love of music in both.

 

When Renee was in the hospital, a nurse introduced her to a music producer. They started collaborating on work with a non-profit organization helping children and teens with poverty, illness, and much more. "I love helping people," she says. After attending events, Renee became more involved in promoting, moderating, and creating web pages for the events she was organizing.

 

Renee has a profound affect on each person she meets. She touches everyone with her strength and humour. She seems to light up the lives around her. As her brother Marco says, "She has never stopped herself from doing anything. She doesn't give up." Renee's mother has been her never-ending support and advocate, always believing in her daughter's potential. Caring and outgoing Renee always manages to have friends around. She can also be found on the computer chatting, consoling, offering advice — ready to help in any way she can.

 

By being such an inspirational and hard-working person, Renee's story was made into a documentary called Suck it Up, Princess. It was broadcast on OMNI television this past March. The title for the documentary came about, she describes, when "someone was complaining and I turned around and said 'suck it up, princess.'" She told the complainer, "Deal with it and get over it. There are worse things that can happen [in life]."

 

Renee describes how the documentary showcases living her life to the fullest. "Just because I am in a wheelchair does not mean I should be at home miserable and do nothing. Don't think about what you can't do; think about what you can do."

Renee is an inspiration because she teaches us that we cannot let challenges get us down. "I get a great feeling after doing a charity event or even now getting messages about how my documentary has brought sunshine to someone's life," says Renee. Her story inspires people to suck it up and enjoy life, no matter what happens.

 

Jessica Vitullo is a York University student currently studying Professional Writing and Anthropology and is a freelance Journalist.

 

Good News Toronto - Our Everyday Heroes
http://www.goodnewstoronto.ca/heroes.shtml

 

Top

 

 


 

Golden Sheaf Awards

 

We are proud to announce that " Suck It Up Princess " has been nominated for Best Documentary POV (Point of View) film at the Golden Sheaf Awards, May 27-30, 2010

 

www.goldensheafawards.com

 

awardyorktonfestival

 

 

Top

 

 



 

WorldFest- Houston Award

 

We are proud to announce that "Suck It Up Princess" has received the Special Jury Remi Award at Worldfest Houston Awards. The award was in the Film & Video Productions - Medical/Health/Fitness/Wellness division.

 

The Remi Award is inspired by the creative genius of the great western artist Frederick Remington, famous for his paintings and sculptures of cowboy life in Texas and The West. His vision brilliantly captured the true Independent Spirit of Texas and The West. The Museum of Fine Arts - Houston has one of the finest collections of Remington's work in the world!

 

The Grand Remi Statuette is presented for the top award in each major category. The Special Jury Awards are Grand Remi Nominees, they are the highest awards for creative excellence in each major category.

 

remiremiworldfest logo

 

 

Top

 

 


 

 

Suck It Up, Princess

Review by film critic Walter Owen, NYC

 

When Renee Rodrigues, her tiny body wrenched by muscular dystrophy, her words straining past a breathing tube stuck in her throat, says she is scared of the gall bladder operation she faces, you shiver yourself.

 

But then you hear her mother, Edit, describe how Renee "chose to fight and stay in this world" and you get a glimpse of the strength of character in this ruined body. Renee's twenty years on earth, nine more — and counting — than doctors gave her, are documented in "Suck It Up, Princess." Despite the title, the film does not make a princess out of Renee.  Stricken after her first communion, she's gone through too much to have illusions. When an uncle went on about how wonderful her new wheelchair was, Renee said to him, "If you think it's so great, do you want one?" Of her absentee father, Renee says, "Who needs a Dad? They're overrated."

 

But pain is not, and the camera catches Renee exhaling through pursed lips when her gall bladder becomes agonizing, as it does several times a day. Doctors won't remove the gall bladder until they believe Renee will survive the operation. Wincing in pain, Renee says she is afraid of going under aneasthetic. Then, with typical aplomb, she looks at the camera and assures us she can handle the fear, "as long as I wake up." She pauses and adds, in her matter-of-fact way, "That's very important, you know."

 

So is work. Renee raises funds for Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children and maintains a website. The computer is a lifeline for her because her disability is invisible on line. It is perhaps more in seeing the normal things Renee does than watching her struggle that we find ourselves wondering how we would cope with the obstacles she faces. This wonderful film gets us rooting harder for Renee the more we see of her, perhaps most thankful for her work, which "makes me feel that I'm just a regular person."

 

Top

 

 



 

Portuguese language documentary premieres - canadianimmigrant.ca
The 60 minutes documentary, Suck It Up Princess, launches its Portuguese language version on Omni 1, March 20, at 10 p.m. ET.

Omni Television premieres on March 20, Suck It Up Princess, as part of its Language Documentary Specials series. The 60 minutes documentary launches its Portuguese language version on Omni 1, at 10 p.m. ET.

 

Directed by Nina Beveridge and produced by Susan Nation of Hop To It Productions, the documentary profiles 20-year-old Renee Rodrigues, a victim of congenital muscular dystrophy. Despite being in constant pain, Rodrigues maintains an exciting and productive life that includes her multi-faceted career as a writer, website moderator, and charity organizer.

 

"We are pleased to support Suck It Up Princess for its inspiring portrait of a dynamic individual whose positive attitude and growing list of accomplishments outshines many who are more able-bodied," says Madeline Ziniak, National Vice President of OMNI Television.

 

Funded through Omni's Independent Producers Initiative, Suck It Up Princess showcases the courage, strength and incomparable attitude of Rodrigues. "We thank OMNI's Independent Producers Initiative for helping us celebrate Renee and her amazing attitude in the face of significant challenges -- Suck It Up Princess really puts things in perspective," says Nina Beveridge, Director of Suck It Up Princess.

 

An English language version will be on air one week later on March 27 at 11:00 p.m. ET.

 

Top

 

 




For Immediate Release
omni
 
MEDIA RELEASE
OMNItv.ca

 

Canadian Documentary Premiere on OMNI.1

 

renee edite
logologo

 

Portuguese Language Version: Saturday March 20th at 10PM ET
English Language Version: Saturday, March 27th at 11PM ET

 

March 11, 2010 - Toronto, ON - OMNI Television is proud to present the world television premiere of Suck It Up Princess, as part of its Language Documentary Specials series. The 60 minute documentary launches its Portuguese language version on OMNI.1, Saturday March 20th at 10 p.m. ET.

 

English language audiences are invited to tune into OMNI.1 one week later on Saturday, March 27th at 11:00 p.m. ET.


Suck It Up Princess, from director Nina Beveridge and producer Susan Nation of Hop To It Productions, profiles the courage, strength and incomparable attitude of Renee Rodrigues, a victim of congenital muscular dystrophy.  Despite being in constant pain, 20 year old Rodrigues maintains an exciting and productive life that includes her multi-faceted career as a writer, website moderator, and charity organizer.


The documentary's title, Suck It Up Princess, refers to Renee Rodrigues' own outlook. "Life is full of ups and downs, so suck it up and move on! Take life and enjoy it because one minute it's there and the next it's gone," she advises.


"We are pleased to support Suck It Up Princess for its inspiring portrait of a dynamic individual whose positive attitude and growing list of accomplishments outshines many who are more able-bodied," says Madeline Ziniak, National Vice President of OMNI Television.

Renee Rodrigues faces the world from a 500 pound wheel chair and speaks with a voice altered by a tracheotomy, but none of that stops her for a second.  In addition to her various career activities, she counts among the hundreds of friends she's made, particularly on-line, a number of celebrities, such as Shawn Desman, Danny Fernandes and Hilary Duff.

 

"Susan and I will always be thankful to Renee and her mother Edite for allowing us into their lives," says Nina Beveridge, Director of Suck It Up Princess. "And we thank OMNI's Independent Producers Initiative for helping us celebrate Renee and her amazing attitude in the face of significant challenges -- Suck It Up Princess really puts things in perspective."

 

Writing in her blog about the upcoming broadcast launch of Suck It Up Princess, Renee Rodrigues has some final advice for viewers, "I only ask one favour ha-ha which I know most won't be able to promise, NO CRYING!"

 

Suck It Up Princess was exclusively funded through OMNI's Independent Producers Initiative, a $32.5 million independent production fund that to date has supported over 400 new documentary programmes. Interested producers can access funding criteria at OMNI Television's web site www.OMNItv.ca.

 

About OMNI Television:
OMNI™ is a free, over-the-air multilingual/multicultural television system committed to positive portrayal and broadcast reflection of Canada's diversity through the airing of inclusive and accessible programming.  With five television stations -- in BC; Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton) and Ontario (OMNI.1 and OMNI.2) - OMNI reaches more than 23 million people in major market areas. As well as specializing in Canadian multilingual / multicultural programming, OMNI carries well-known International series and films - including East Asian Super Cinema and South Asian Bollywood Freetime Movies. OMNI Television is a part of Rogers Broadcasting Limited., a division of Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX: RCI and NYSE: RCI) which is a diversified Canadian communications and media company.  For more information visit www.OMNItv.ca

 

About Hop To It Productions Inc.
Hop To It Productions produces relevant, compelling and unique content and products that empower and entertain, websites that engage.  Programming from Hop To It Productions promotes diversity, active healthy living and strong female roles.  The company specializes in creating projects that have the potential to work on multiple platforms, with strong international appeal. Suck It Up Princess is the third independent film for Nina Beveridge, an award winning producer/director with a multi-disciplinary background in fine arts that encompasses 3D animation, web design and sports broadcasting (including two Olympic Games).

OMNI Media Contact:
Veronica Logue - Publicity Manager, 416-764-3196 veronica.logue@rci.rogers.com
Sandy Zwyer - Programme Information Coordinator, 416-764-3085 sandy.zwyer@rci.rogers.com

 

Hop To It Productions Media Contact:

Susan Nation - Writer/Producer, 416-925-6200 susan@hoptoitproductions.com

 

Top