ESTILO HIP HOP, Reveals the Powerful Role Hip-Hop Plays in Bringing Social Change to Latin America 

ESTILO HIP HOP will have its broadcast premiere on the PBS WORLD series Global Voices, Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 10 PM

Hip-Hop music has the ability to give a voice to the disenfranchised in any country, and as music with a message, it is a form available to all societies worldwide.
ESTILO HIP HOP, a new film by Virgilio Bravo and Loira Limbal, chronicles the emergence of hip-hop in Latin America, its impact on youth culture and the regional politics that underscore its existence. Within the breathtaking landscapes of Brazil, Chile and Cuba, we meet Guerrillero Okulto, Eli Efi and Magia, three performer-activists who believe that hip-hop culture can change the world. These three inspirational leaders mobilize young people to become politically active. However, as the stakes assume greater risks, the leaders are faced with challenges and have to make life-altering decisions that ultimately impact the course of their lives and of the hip-hop movement. color:red">

Within vast breathtaking landscapes we meet Eli Efi, Guerrillero Okulto, and Magia. As we delve into their lives, we learn about the movements they lead and the personal price they pay because of their political stance. Eli Efi is a hip-hop artist born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil who addresses his community's dire living conditions through his lyrics. Inspired by American Rap groups such as Public Enemy, he founded the politically charged rap group "Defenders of the Black Movement" (DMN). DMN recorded five albums, receiving praise from the hip-hop community and music industry. As the group becomes successful, DMN is approached to sign a new record deal with a label that has nationwide distribution through SONY. When faced with the choice to "lighten" his lyrics or to remain true to his political beliefs, Eli makes a drastic decision that alters the trajectory of his burgeoning rap career.

In Santiago, Chile, we meet Guerrillero Okulto, hip-hop recording artist and absentee father to two pre-teen girls. As one of the most respected and effective youth organizers in the nation's capital, Guerrillero is propelled to bring change to his community. He leads a citywide collective known as Hiphoplogia [The Logic of Hip Hop] whose primary focus is to conduct alternative political education workshops throughout marginal neighborhoods in Santiago. Guerrillero spends his time conducting free workshops on the media, rallying teenage kids to become politically active while struggling to hold down a construction job in order to provide for his daughters. Despite his daughters feeling the void created by his absence, Guerrillero pursues his first solo album; not only to spread his political messages further but to keep his commitments to his family.

In Havana, Cuba, Magia and her husband Alexei, form the popular rap duo Obsesión. Using limited resources to create their music, Magia reflects on the contradictions of Cuban socialism and the often times repressive role that women face within it. Obsesión's music has created an afro-centric movement among black youth challenging the Cuban Revolution to address the racism and sexism that often times goes ignored by the government. Their well-defined sound has caught the attention of many across the world, allowing Obsesión the privilege of performing in the UK, France, Venezuela, Canada and the US. Magia is also one of the founding members of La Fabri_ka, a collective of artists dedicated to using hip-hop to promote messages of political involvement and social change. As La Fabri_ka prepares for their next event, Magia comes face to face with a government that wants to silence their voice.

ESTILO HIP HOP is a journey through the lives of three modern day freedom fighters who truly believe in the power of hip-hop to bring awareness and social change to their countries. The film will be available for download to own on iTunes Summer 2009.

About the Filmmakers

Loira Limbal (co-producer/co-director) is a filmmaker, activist, and DJ. Limbal has worked at various community-based organizations and in 2006, she founded The Reel X Project, which is a social justice and creative filmmaking space for young women of color in the Southwest Bronx. Currently she is the Director of Operations at Firelight Media, a New York City based film production company. Limbal received a B.A. in History from Brown University and is a graduate of the Third World Newsreel's Film and Video Production Training Program. She has received awards from the Open Society Institute, the Bronx Council on the Arts, Royce Fellows Society, and the Lisa Sullivan Fund. Her work in the arts and the community has been featured in The New York Times, The Source Magazine, El Diario-La Prensa, among other publications.

Virgilio Bravo (co-producer/co-director) is an independent media-maker and activist. Over the past decade Bravo has initiated several unique projects aimed at creating responsible links between media and marginal communities. These initiatives include the Cell Block Project, a yearly media literacy and film series held at New York's Rikers Island Correctional Facility. In the mid 90s Bravo also co-founded Stress Magazine, the first lifestyles publication to fuse hip-hop and social activism. Bravo's community work has been recognized and supported by the Open Society Institute, the Union Square Awards, and the Ford Foundation. His community work and writing has been featured and published in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Source, Vibe, XXL, and El Diario-La Prensa. Bravo received a B.A. in Latin American & Caribbean Area Studies from Binghamton University and a M.S. in Urban Policy from The New School for Social Research.

Added by: Watcher, 17/Jun/24 | Comments: 0
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