Last Sunday, Talib Kweli helped ImageNation kick off its 10th Annual Outdoors Festival with a screening of the critically acclaimed film Brooklyn Boheme in Bedstuy’s Herbert Von King Park.
The day was filled with Brooklynites & people from all walks of life, celebrating each other and the city that they love: Brooklyn. Filmmaker Nelson George was there to help present Brooklyn Boheme, his ode to the city. The film gets into the origins, rise in popularity, and the current gentrification of Brooklyn.
He says of the project, “Brooklyn Boheme was created by myself and Diane Paragas to document a remarkable era when African-American filmmakers, spoken word artists, jazzmen, visual artists, actors, comics and writers lived in a tight community in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. Spike Lee, Rosie Perez, Vernon Reid, Wesley Snipes, Chris Rock, Saul Wiliams, Branford Marsalis and Lorna Simpson were among the many who lived and created there from the 1980s and into the 21st century. The film isn’t just a celebration of the past but a vehicle to inspire young people to get involved in building artistic communities of their own, to build on the legacy of these BK bohemians.”
Shortly before presentation of the movie, Talib hit the modest-yet-intimate stage to perform some of his classic hits. He had the crowd roaring when he sparked up “Get By” on the speakers!
ImageNation Cinema Foundation is a Harlem-based media arts organization that uses independent film and progressive music to address the social concerns of Black people worldwide. Founder Moikgantsi Kgama says “Our mission is to expose new audiences to independent film and to use progressive film and music to promote progressive images of black people worldwide.” The films, as she says, show positive images of all African backgrounds—from black Brazilians to American blacks, all the way back to the continent of Africa.
As far as bringing it into the community for free, she says, “A lot of times, people feel kind of excluded from art house environments. They’re not necessarily going to go to the Angelika [Film Center] downtown or the Landmark [Sunshine] Cinema, but if you bring it into their community then they get an understanding that these films actually do reflect their experiences—then they’ll come out and support later. Our goal really is to go into black communities, show people what independent film is all about, and draw them in to support those films in the cinema.”
For more information on ImageNation and their upcoming movie festivals—happening all this summer—go visit www.imagenation.us.