The latest Bay Area film festival to prove it has legs is Oakland's Hip-Hop Film Festival, kicking into serious high gear for its second year. "This year we wanted the entire community to be involved," says Bushmama, whose Bushmama Productions is promoting and producing the events, "so I reached out to other organizations that represent the hip-hop community in a positive way." The results of that outreach can be seen in the live performances happening on the opening and closing nights of the three-day festival. Monday night features the DestinyArts/D.R.E.A.M. dance troupe and hip-hop MC and poet Ise Lyfe. "He was one of the first performers I ever booked since I've been producing the show, and now more than three years later I get the opportunity to showcase him during the most important event I've ever produced," she says.
There were so many good submissions this year, Bushmama says, that she'll be showing some of the ones that didn't make it at smaller screenings later. Of the ones that did make the cut, the organizer is most excited about Soundz of Spirit -- an examination of the creative processes of hip-hop artists -- because Oakland filmmaker Joslyn Rose-Lyons was the only woman who submitted work to the fest. Another selection of note is Tuesday's screening of Bang! Bang! In da Manor , a documentary about violence in Britain's black community. Sean Mendez' highly graphic film is having its US premiere at the festival. Also showing Tuesday is a collection of films by participants in Digital Underground Storytelling for Youth (DUSTY), a program providing West Oakland youth with after-school and summer filmmaking instruction. The fest winds up Wednesday with the feature-length doc Move On! The Story of the Africa Family, a reception for the filmmaker, a performance by Delinquent Monastery, and two other films. All three nights will be hosted by singer Noñameko.
All events start at 7 p.m. and take place at the Oakland Box, 1928 Telegraph Ave. Call 510-451-1932 or visit OaklandBox.com for a complete schedule and prices.
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