JOHANNESBURG — Out of over 5,000 festivals in the world, Hip Hop Film Festival (https://hiphopfilmfestival.org) is the only festival to focus on writers, directors, and producers who grew up in the global culture of hip-hop. While the main festival is headquartered in New York City during the first week of August every year, the world tour is currently underway. From Saturday, May 30, 2020 to Sunday, May 31, 2020, the festival will be held in South Africa, highlighting filmmakers from that area. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, this year’s festival will be held online. Free all access passes are available via Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hip-hop-film-festival-south-africa-tickets-106509001290, upon donation to Harlem Film House, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Harlem Film House is the production arm of Hip Hop Film Festival, operating year round workshops, theatre productions, and live events. While also offering business consulting to filmmakers and content creators in underserved communities around the world, Harlem Film House creates an economic ecosystem, by providing filmmakers various services and resources to ensure career longevity in film, theatre, and related entrepreneurial pursuits.
Founded by filmmaker and philanthropist C R Capers, Hip Hop Film Festival features every genre (mystery, sci-fi, horror, action, romance, etc.), from filmmakers throughout the world. It is also the only film festival that shares the profits from the festival with the filmmakers selected to participate. Although the festival is titled “Hip Hop”, that does not necessarily mean all films will be about hip-hop. Rather, the term is used in reference to the filmmakers who grew up in the elemental culture of hip-hop and the wide-ranging narratives they project to the screen, as a result of being incubated by such culture.
“As Hip Hop Film Festival branches into South Africa, the festival continues its commitment to empowering filmmakers and movie lovers that grew up in the universal culture of hip-hop,” says C R Capers.
Media personality Shefik (http://shefik.info) of the syndicated radio show “Shefik presents Invocation” (https://invocation.co) is hosting a new video series titled “Conversations from the Culture” for Hip Hop Film Festival in South Africa. Although episodes of the series are available for viewing on-demand via exclusive broadcast on 24/7 Films (https://247films.vhx.tv/conversations-from-the-culture), the series itself will make its official debut during the festival, on Sunday, May 31, 2020, starting at 2 p.m. SAST (8 a.m. EDT). Selected South African filmmakers sit down with Shefik to discuss film, South African politics, and more. The complete festival schedule can be viewed at https://hiphopfilmfestival.org/southafrica/.
Comprised of key selections and finalists of Hip Hop Film Festival in South Africa, Season 1 of “Conversations from the Culture” highlights the following filmmakers based in South Africa and its surrounding areas: Lwazi Nonyukela (The Chronicles of African Battle Rap); Gugulethu (Zulu Return); Richard Fontaine (Zulu Return); Madu Dube (Conversations with Millennials); Refilwe Moseamedi (The Pursuit of Achaz); Megan-Leigh Heilig (It’s Where You Find Yourself); Reinier Smit (The Fighter); Brendon Groenewald (Original Royals); SPeeKa (Slaghuis Joint Elements); Khalid Kader (The New Wave, The Message); Cole Gallant (The New Wave); Nic Botha (The Message); Mzwakhe Dhlamini (Tales from the Fisch); Abongile Ntsatha (Sipho Dlamini); and Thanky L. Hamutenya (Ntombezulu).
“South Africa has some of the most compelling filmmakers I have ever engaged with,” says Shefik. “Their stories are thoughtful, compelling, and vibrant with amazing energy.”
Shefik is a Professional Member at the New York Chapter of National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (New York Emmys), as well as a National Associate Member at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Primetime Emmy Awards). The organizations are dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of television and the promotion of creative leadership for artistic, educational, and technical achievements within the television industry. They recognize excellence in television with the coveted Emmy Award.
As a multiple award wining videographer and producer, Shefik’s work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for TIME magazine, The Washington Center, “Unsung” (TV One), Broadway World, and a major news station in New York City. Additionally, his photography has been featured in print and online publications, such as Daily Mail, Harvard Kennedy School Magazine, Playbill, and China Press. Shefik currently serves as a Technical Lead at NBCUniversal, where he is leading the development of business critical applications and web-based technology for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan; the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China; as well as other major sporting events throughout the world for NBC Sports.