The documentary is more than a sports story and pulls back the curtain on Kolisi’s tumultuous upbringing in South Africa, where he navigated through poverty, systemic racism from apartheid, neighbourhood violence and a complex relationship with his father.
Rugby became Kolisi’s refuge as he honed his craft, becoming the first-ever, Black captain of South Africa’s national team in its 126-year history as well as one of the greatest superstars of his generation. In the process, Kolisi’s leadership on and off the pitch inspired a country that had been plagued by decades of segregation and injustice.
“I’m truly honored to be sharing my story with millions around the world,” said Kolisi. “I hope my journey inspires people to chase their dreams and reminds others to never allow adverse circumstances to define our lives. We are more than products of our environments and we have the potential to change our respective narratives.”
Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story was written and directed by Tebogo Malope, an award-winning filmmaker who most recently directed a documentary series on the launch of the NBA's Basketball Africa League that included appearances from President Barack Obama and J. Cole.
Roc Nation Sports International has represented Kolisi since his historic World Cup win in 2019, having shepherded his professional and personal career endeavors. Most recently, Kolisi was featured on CBS’ iconic program, 60 Minutes, where they highlighted his life story as well as his plans to create meaningful change in South Africa.
The Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Rise: The Siya Kolisi Story comes shortly after Kolisi was awarded the National Order of Ikhamanga, a prestigious award bestowed by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa that recognises citizens who excel in sports, arts, culture, literature, music, and journalism.
“Siya is an embodiment of resilience, patience and determination,” President of Roc Nation Sports International Michael Yormark said. “We are beyond thrilled to premiere this powerful documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival and help tell Siya’s inspirational story. He has shattered barriers to become a global icon and is continuing to leave an impactful legacy for the next generation.”