Ethan Higbee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Ethan Higbee
Residence Ojai, California
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Film-maker, music producer
Notable work Red Apples Falling
The Upsetter

Ethan Higbee (also known as nahte) is an American filmmaker, music producer and gallerist living in Ojai, California. He is most known for his films Red Apples Falling and The Upsetter, a documentary about Lee Scratch Perry.

In 2010 he opened Dem Passwords art gallery in West Hollywood, California. The gallery owns and represents the painting collection of Lee Scratch Perry and hosted his first solo art exhibition called 'Secret Education' in 2010.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Higbee was born and raised in Maine. He studied at the Mt. Ararat High School and was a six time All-American in youth and high school track & field and cross country, capturing over 25 individual and team state championships over four different sports[2] As a 14-year-old he was featured in Sports Illustrated Magazine's Faces in the Crowd for winning two state titles in cross country and soccer in the same day.[3] In 1994 he stood 3rd in the 2000m steeplechase at the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics National Championships at the University of Florida.

In 1996 Higbee gave up a potential Olympic dream in running to pursue a career in direction after he was accepted into the Maurice Kandbar Institute of Film and Television at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University where he graduated in 2001.[4][5] Before attending NYU, he skipped the majority of his senior year at Mt. Ararat High School after convincing the principal to let him enroll in a film residency at the Maine Media Workshops.


Higbee met Adam Bhala Lough when they were enrolled at New York University. The two have collaborated on several projects.[6] Higbee has been composer on Lough’s films. Besides composing the music Higbee has also been a director, screenwriter, producer and cinematographer in different projects. In 2002, Higbee co-founded media production company called Permanent Marks with fellow conspirator Sebastian Demian.[7]

He has composed the music to feature films including The Carter, and Weapons.[8][9]

In 2003 he produced his first feature documentary Haro Hara: Pilgrimage to Kataragama Sri Lanka a film following Tamil devotes of Lord Murugan on the ancient Pada Yatra pilgrimage down the war torn east coast of Sri Lanka.[10]

In 2005, Higbee directed the video of Damian Marley's song Confrontation.

In 2008, Higbee premiered The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee "Scratch" Perry, a documentary following Lee "Scratch" Perry, at the SXSW Film Festival.[11] Named after Perry's 1969 album of the same name, the film played in dozens of film festivals worldwide, and was screened across in nearly 100 theaters in 2011. The film is equally devoted to thirty years of Jamaican music and culture, and was narrated by Benicio Del Toro.[12] The movie was co-written and co-directed by Higbee and Lough who also distributed the movie by themselves.[13]

Higbee wanted to make a movie on Perry since he was in New York University. He tried contacting Perry several times, however, he was never able to pitch the idea of a movie to him.[6] Finally in 2005, Higbee and Lough were able to pitch their idea to Perry, who agreed on making a documentary.[6] In 2006, they spent eight days with Perry in Switzerland, then a year and a half following Perry around the world.[14]

In 2009, Higbee directed the documentary film Red Apples Falling, produced by Damon Dash and Lough. The film is an uncensored look at the life of Jim Jones. In 2010 he opened Dem Passwords art gallery in West Hollywood California.[15][16] The gallery owns and represents the painting collection of Lee Scratch Perry and hosted his first solo art exhibition called 'Secret Education' in 2010.[17][18]

In 2011, after the end of the Sri Lankan civil war, Ethan along with Samuel Holt and Suba Sivakumaran founded KIFF, the Kandy International Film Festival, the first international film festival in Sri Lanka.[19][20]

In 2013 he formed the production company Rain Dominion with collaborator Adam Bhala Lough to produce the skateboard documentary series The Motivation. Upon release The Motivation was the #1 documentary on iTunes for 13 consecutive days. The Motivation 2: The Chris Cole Story was released worldwide on June 23, 2015 and also stood as the #1 documentary on iTunes for over a week.[21] In 2013 he co-produced Lee "Scratch" Perry Blue Ark Fm Radio Station for Grand Theft Auto V.

Since 2008 Higbee has been in production on a movie titled Basedworld, a documentary about Lil B, however since 2014 the project has been delayed.[22]

Higbee is currently in production directing a film on the life of Cuban Boxer Teófilo Stevenson a co-production with the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry.


As a producer[edit]

Year Title Notes
2001 Roundest Wheel producer, director
2006 Haro Hara: Pilgrimage to Kataragama Sri Lanka producer, director
2009 Red Apples Falling producer, director
2011 The Upsetter producer, director
2013 Basedworld producer, director
2013 The Motivation producer
2015 The Motivation 2 – The Chris Cole Story producer
2016 Untitled Teofilo Stevenson Project producer, director

As a composer[edit]

Year Title
2001 Roundest Wheel
2002 Bomb The System
2005 Waterborne
2007 Weapons
2008 The Carter
2009 Red Apples Falling
2011 The Upsetter


  1. ^ "Lee "Scratch" Perry's First-Ever Art Show Opens Tomorrow -- Interview with Curator Sebastian Demian". Los Angeles Weekly. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Maine XC teams do well". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Sports Illustrated Vault". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Mainers Excel in Russia". Sun Journal. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Busy Week for Mt. Aarat School, Sugg Track Tream". Sun Journal. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c "Adam Bhala Lough And Ethan Higbee, Tha Upsetter". Film Maker Magazine. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "The Upsetter". Rokumentti. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Jackson, Nate (March 24, 2011). "'Lee Scratch Perry's Life on Film in 'The Upsetter'". Los Angeles Times. 
  9. ^ "'Lee Scratch Perry's Wild World'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "HARO HARA: Pilgrimage to Kataragama, Sri Lanka". Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "2008 SXSW Film Festival Official Line-Up". Film School Rejects. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Adam Bhala Lough on his Lee "Scratch" Perry movie". TBD. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  13. ^ "Addicted to rockstone". Caribbean Review of Books. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "'The Upsetter': The life and times of Lee 'Scratch' Perry – Video". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Westhoff, Ben. "Lil B's Manager Sebastian Demian Is Calmer Than You Are". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Rebel Energy: The Scene Around Dem Passwords". ARTnews. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  17. ^ "Lil B's Manager Sebastian Demian Is Calmer Than You Are". Los Angeles Weekly. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry". Los Angeles Record. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "News Around Kandy: July 2011". Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "Malani to be honoured at Kandy Film Festival". Daily News (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "'The Carter' Director Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Chris Cole Skate Documentary 'The Motivation 2.0'". TheWrap. Retrieved 25 January 2016. 
  22. ^ "Benicio Del Toro Narrates Doc on Reggae Legend Lee 'Scratch' Perry (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 

External links[edit]