Flagpole Premieres: Athens Rising, Excerpt One: Volumes Hip Hop

The first full-length documentary in a planned series “that aims to celebrate the creative class in the Classic City,” Athens Rising: The Sicyon Project chronicles Athens’ multifaceted arts and music scenes, with an additional focus on dance, food, comedy, theater, festival culture and more. 

The doc, which premiered during this year’s AthFest Music and Arts Festival, is the brainchild of filmmaker James Preston. “I never set out with this film series to say, ‘This is it—this is all of Athens,'” says Preston, “but rather to capture glimpses of art going on around town and celebrate it in a way that will draw more attention to our creative class.”

Preston is planning a series of late-summer and fall showings for Athens Rising, with the first happening Saturday, Aug. 11 at the 40 Watt Club. (Tickets are available at To coincide with the screenings, we’ll be posting a few clips from the film over the next several weeks.

The first segment, which you can check out below, focuses on Athens’ thriving hip-hop scene, with a focus on Volumes, the local zine that both chronicles and advocates for Athens’ rap culture.

“I was connected with [Volumes founder] Sam Lipkin and [promoter] Montu Miller by Tommy Valentine, whom I texted out of the blue, because I was told he had extensive ties to the scene,” says Preston. “From there, it all kind of fell into place, as two weeks later, I was in the middle of this amazing house party that I’d never heard of.”

Check out the clip below:


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