Orpheus Rising

a feature film by award winning writer-director Maxim Jago

Thank you so much for checking out our website, and finding out about Orpheus Rising. This project is my baby: I conceived the idea, wrote the script, and led the production from the earliest development stages.

It took a long time to find a title – in many ways, naming a film is even harder than naming a character in a story. I’d been working the project so long before settling on a title, it was like having a teenage child shouting and demanding a name at last.

The title is fitting: Orpheus travelled deep into the underworld, not in order to arrive there, but in order to get to heaven. By travelling to the lowest possible place, he found a gateway to the highest. This is an ‘Orphic journey’, one where a true transformation is possible as a consequence of losing everything that doesn’t really matter. I’ll grant you, Ash’s name is a bit of a giveaway: I wanted the sense of nothing in his life meaning anything more than Ashes, but that, phoenix-like, he would rise again thanks to the flames of his love with Rachel.

In a sense, Rachel goes through her own Orphic journey. Her worst fear is realised, and she discovers it does not destroy her – in fact, it wasn’t worthy of her fear.

I’ve heard it said all human emotion is rooted in either love or fear. In an important sense, the message of this film is that one can move from one to the other, and the difference is a choice. But that choice must be a real one: Changing behaviour on the outside will not do it. In fact, external change is a natural consequence of internal change.

This film is a message to its audience, that in spite of our posturing, our pretence, and the lies we tell ourselves, we always, in every moment, have the freedom to change who and what we are into anything, or anyone we want.

Love is the catalyst for that change in this story.

Maxim Jago