THE PLOT


FATHER  fa·ther [fah-ther]  noun

a man who exercises paternal care over other persons;  paternal protector and provider: a father to the poor and orphans.





Why would an unlikely band of American brothers go on an adventure, a road trip, to the depths of Ethiopia and Uganda, and join with African men? They joined in a push to help combat the heartbreaking problem that there are over 7,000,000 orphans suffering in these two countries. They left their jobs and families to help bring to light the gut wrenching issue that over 700,000,000 children worldwide grow up without a father. Not dismayed by the staggering numbers, the men literally man up and go to change lives and discover their own lives are most impacted

This cast of characters is joined by a common passion -- to love and care for orphans and people that are hurting and in need. To be a father to many, even if for one day. To hold and hug those children that do not have a father. To show women the healthy touch of a man and to be an example to other men what a real man is like...what it means to be a father. The Man Up team did dishes for the women, cooked, gathered food, washed feet, shaved and fed lepers, played games and simply….loved big.

Many of the men call home Missouri, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Uganda and Ethiopia. Miles apart geographically and worlds apart socially, economically and culturally, this band of American brothers includes a seasoned cop, a retired military man and an architect. Then there is the standout ex-college football player, highly successful businessman, well-known publicist, celebrity athlete and teenage boys. With over 30 adventurers on this rag tag team, most previously have never stepped on African soil.

Focusing on five Americans, the film reveals the unique stories of the men...before the trip even starts. We see them at home, work and play and connect with their unfolding lives. The film's journey continues as the team comes together at an airport in Washington DC -- for most, a first time meeting, yet they unite as one. 

The Americans are contrasted and compared with the lives of African brothers. Included are harrowing stories of survival through unthinkable situations -- one being left for dead on a mountain of bodies and the second once orphaned himself, living in a dump. These stories and others represent shining examples of manhood and the spirit of the adventure.

Strongly drawing attention to the touching lives of orphaned children , the Man Up team travels to hidden children prisons and a dump site, which is home to thousands of orphans. The journey continues to a ministry for street children, a remote village in the middle of Ethiopia and to a multitude of orphanages. The needs of the precious children are revealed by the spirited actions of the Man Up team, entwining strong, common threads of hope, joy, love and the power these have over adversity 

In the end, the American team travels home to their comfortable lives...but will they ever be the same? Will the choking facade of the American dream grip them like it used to? The men return with the truth planted that life is not just about them; they are transformed by their African adventure and brothers, and are united with a strong commitment to love big and to be fathers to the fatherless.