TELL US ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE HIP HOP FILM FESTIVAL
The Hip Hop Film Festival was amazing for me. When I received the notification that my comedy mockumentary, "Snuffalagaghost: Hip Hop's First Stylist", was accepted into the fest I was floored. Two of my greatest loves (Hip Hop and Film) were joining forces at a festival and the programmers were fans of my film. I couldn't believe it. I thought my Mind Was Playing Tricks on me. When we arrived at the fest it was amazing. First a representative from the team meets each filmmaker and takes them around to show what the fest had setup. A live DJ greeted you in the lobbying cutting and scratching. Drinks and food from local brands associated with Hip Hop were chugged and downed. Interviews. Graffiti Art. Constant music and an impressive lineup of videos and films. The whole experience was dope af. Then my film played and the audience roared with laughter throughout and clapped like thunder when it ended. I was blown away by the crowd's response to the little comedy film I made. Then CR the festival head called me up for a Q&A (my first) and she started it by saying "Artie, you so stupid". This time it was me who was roaring with laughter. I may get that etched into my grave. The rest of the night went by in a flash. I thought it couldn't get any better and then I was notified I had won the Audience Choice Award! It is my favorite thing I have ever been awarded and I still sometimes can't believe it. Two years later the festival accepted the sketch comedy pilot "A2Z: Black & White" from Zene Coley and myself. Again I was shocked and humbled by the acceptance. But in true HHFF fashion they blew me away again when I heard on 1010 Wins radio I was nominated for Best Actor. This time they had a VR room where we got to virtually go in on a cypher, bboy in a breakdance crew, and digitally drink forties of ST. Ides (maybe I made the last part up)
WHY ARE STORIES FOM THE CULTURE IMPORTANT?
I feel stories from the Hip Hop culture are important because hip hop has been on the ground floor of the ever changing face and soul of America since it's inception. From social issues to escapism to art, the world has changed and hip hop has been a megaphone from the parts of the country that never had a voice. Look at how beautiful the buildings in Manhattan are that have pieces by artists like Kobra. Check out the Bushwick block party. I'm sure you can book a mommy and me hip hop breakdance yoga class in Park Slope. It's all because of the culture that began in the Bronx 40 years ago. What people once called ugly now are parts of tours for tourists (Graffiti Tours). The stories need to continue in the oral tradition our country has always had. Jazz and Folk are that tradition set to music. Hip Hop added to it by spraying it on walls, and shooting it on film.
WHAT CURRENT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON?
Currently I am working on my live show "Super Crazy Funtime Variety Game Show Hour". Supercrazyfuntime.com We have been writing, filming shorts, and performing a new show once a month at The PIT (Peoples Improv Theater) in the city for three years. It is an insane game show that has new characters, new fake commercials, and new prizes for the audience every month. I play one of the hosts, Francis Merryweather, along with my co-creator co-writer co-director Anthony Giordano. The show is both a TimeOut NY and an AMNY critics pick. I am also working on a film (that involves hip hop) and a pilot version of the show. Throughout the year I work with a collective of artists that I have met and worked with in NYC's comedy community. I am always looking for collaborations and to work with other like minded people.
THE HARLEM FILM HOUSE (PRODUCER OF THE HIP HOP FILM FESTIVAL) IS A GLOBAL RESOURCE FOR FILMMAKERS FROM THE CULTURE. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS NON-PROFIT IS IMPORTANT?
The Harlem Film House is an important addition to NYC's indie film scene. The hurdles and obstacles of the middle man and the gatekeepers are sometimes daunting for first time filmmakers. Before they even start they are scared off and the world never gets to see the fly shit they had in their head. Maybe they are the next Singleton, the next Scorsese, the next Wes Anderson? HFH helps people with these issues and tries to keep the artists doing their thing. That is so important to help continue getting the stories out of an artists head and on to the screen. The Hip Hop Film Festival is important, not only because of my history there, because it brings together a group of people from around the world who are all interested in seeing more from the Hip Hop and film communities together. A love child of the highest art forms, Hip Hop and film. A steamy affair melting records and lenses. A sex video of beats and...ok i'm done
Artie Brennan, winner of the Hip Hop Film Festival 2016 Audience Choice Award, is a NYC born actor & improvisor. His three loves are film, comedy & hip hop which, he merged together to create his own aesthetic. Artie studied. drama at NYU & sketch at The second city and sketch writing at The People’s Improv Theater (PIT). He can be seen in several award-winning independent feature films as well as commercials for clients like Optimum Cable, ESPN, GMA, & Kiehl's. He also has appeared in numerous tv shows such as "House Of Cards" on Netflix, Showtime's "The Affair", Nat Geo's "American Genius", and Comedy Central's "The Onion Sports Dome". Artie also performed improv in over 100 shows. He co-created the TimeOut NY critic's pick "Super Crazy Funtime Variety Game Show Hour"which has spawned shorts that have gone on to win film festivals and play on the front page of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Funny or Die.
To learn more about Artie Brennan check out Hip Hop Film Festival IGTV Series “The 411”