WildStyle. Beatstreet. Krush Groove. The Disorderlies. Breakin’ I, II, & III.
From jump street (and with “The Funky Drummer” playing in the background), the Hip-Hop generation has used film to project their truth and historical lens onto the world. Whether through narratives or exploratory documentaries, put a b-boy or b-girl behind the camera (and give them access to the soundtrack) and you are sure to see magic. Gritty and patch-worked like Master P’s Bout It, Bout It or slick and sophisticated like Love Jones, there are depths behind our generation’s film catalogue that can’t be capsulated in one swoop.
We beez dope at this sh*t, too.
And the Hip-Hop Film Festival, now in her third year, is progressively mastering the art of deconstructing swoop capsulation with an internationally focused festival that rides the beat of filmmaker development like Rakim on an Dennis Edward’s sample.
Nestled in the heart of Harlem, where so many bomb things are nestled, it’s home for the last few years is the incomparable Barbara Ann Teer’s The National Black Theater. Oozing Africa, it was super fly to hear a Nigerian attendee marvel at the authentic glimpses of “home.” Hip-Hop does that… it calls back to our roots in the Motherland and pop locks around it.
And with the same level of attention, over one hundred narrative films, tv series, web series and music videos were screened for a diverse audience- represented by 5 of the 7 continents. And while all of the joints deserve a Source spotlight, the following joints had the Public Enemy Effect: grabbed our heart, tickled our fancy, made us cry, had us associating and activated.
FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIQ (short film)
Chad “Cutty” Quinn (Director), Brittany Mirabile, Andrea-Rachel Parker, Alexis Diamond Cole and Zae Diggs (Partial Cast)
Biographical story about the hard life and eventual liberation of songwriter, Ty Powell. This film won Best of the Fest.
KNOCKOUT GAME (short film)
Jamal Hodge (Director), Eric Lockley, Jo Jo Mills Robertson, Sharice Henry Chasi and Manny Ureña (Partial Cast)
Precautionary tale masterfully told about messing with the wrong one. It also features a cameo from General Butt Naked (get your total life with this film).
ONE BEDROOM (feature film)
Darien Sills-Evans (director), Devin Nelson, Darien Sills-Evans, Stephen Hill, Jade Johnson, Jon Laster, and Chester A. Sims II (Partial Cast)
Love story about the break-up of two people that seems like the probably should have never got together in the first place. Relatable… because each character is someone that you definitely know if you live in Brooklyn.
STILL WATER RUNS DEEP ( short film)
Abbesi Akhamie (Director), Yemi Adebiyi, Rita Edward, Toyin Oshinaike (Cast)
Heart-wrenching tale of a father trying to maintain the face of security, while his world falls a part after his oldest son goes missing. Beautifully shot and written.
FEAR NO GUMBO (documentary)
Kimberly Rivers Roberts (Director)
It is hard to even talk about how powerful this documentary is without crying. Detailing the systemic raping of the poor Black and Brown people that give New Orleans its flavor, Roberts methodically walks the viewer through how the powerful exploited the Hurricane Katrina, pillaged the land from generations of good people (many who could count their familiar legacy back centuries) for economic gain. Rivers Roberts won the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury award and was nominated for an Academy Award with another documentary entitled, Trouble The Waters in 2009. At the HHFF, she won Best Director for FNG.
SUPA SUPA, (web-series)
Steven Briand (Director)
Creatively shot and masterfully soundtracked through beatboxing, this French web-series is so out of the box that it is right on square with everything one wants in popcorn cinema. It mixes video games, martial arts, high action and a cat and mouse love story chase into stop motion animation. Sure to laugh, this series is available on YouTube right here.
BROOKLYN. BLUE. SKY. (web-series)
Rhavynn Drummer & Dui Jarrod (Directors), Jenelle Simone, Michael Oloyede, Adiagha Faizah, Ke’Ahni Bright (Cast)
When BET ventured into the web-series game they gave Brooklyn. Blue. Sky. premium space on their website and pushed it like they were pushing one of their network shows. Surprisingly, the story and production was worthy of the marketing dollars behind it. You also know these people and for more of BBS go to BET.