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Immortal Entertainment backs Documentary Short “Life from the BBC (Bourj al Barajneh Camp)”
By Immortal Entertainment Press
BEIRUT/AMMAN – In keeping with our commitment to bring you the best in hip-hop oriented film, music and photography, Immortal Entertainment brings you “Life from the BBC (Bourj al Barajneh Camp),” a new film by Beirut-based hip-hop journalist Jackson Allers (Beats and Breath Productions).
“Life from the BBC” follows two MC’s, YaSeen (20) [Yasin Qasem] and TNT (19) [Mohammad Turk] of the Palestinian rap group I-Voice (Invincible Voice), who both hail from the Bourj al Barajneh Refugee Camp (BBC) in south Beirut.
Yaseen and TNT write lyrics by the lights of their cell phones and have produced beats for a growing fan base – wracking up an impressive catalogue of music that has earned them a remarkable reputation within the local and international Arab hip-hop scenes.
According to the film synopsis:
“Inside the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon, the nascent hip-hop movement is growing. B-boys (breakdancers), producers and MC’s (rappers) are flexing their artistic muscles inside the camps despite the daily obstacles Palestinians face in Lebanon.
For one group in the south Beirut Palestinian refugee camp of Bourj al Barajneh, finding the power is an issue. Operating out of a small home studio that took two years to complete, I-Voice experiences a litany of electricity cuts while producing music.
As a source of inspiration, a group of I-VOICE supporters raised 450$ to buy them a generator. This story is an exploration of what electricity means for Palestinian hip-hop artists, where refugee camp life becomes a character in their quest to inspire Palestinian youth and the Arab world at large.
It is a search for power.”
With an increasing amount of ‘hit-and-run’ films being made Arab hip-hop these days, Allers told Immortal that his approach to the documentary “Life from the BBC” was shaped during his time studying at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies under photographer Alex Harris, and Pulitzer Prize-Winning child psychiatrist and documentary filmmaker Robert Coles.
“I spent 6 months with I-Voice before I conceived of doing a film with them,” Allers said, adding, “And of course, the need to find a power source for their studio was a natural film concept that could only have come from spending time with them – the symbols were perfect to tell their story and the story about living and doing hip-hop in the camp.”
With 20-years of experience chronicling the rise of various hip-hop movements throughout the world (LA, Houston, New York, the Balkans), Allers has spent the last three years tracing the growth of the Arab hip-hop movement in Lebanon and the Arab Diaspora for local and international magazines and newspapers.
“I have seen (hip-hop) movements rise and fall in the U.S. and feel lucky to be witnessing – to use a phrase from Condoleza Rice – ‘the birth pangs’ of the new hip-hop Middle East.”
Stay tuned to Immortal Entertainment’s blog for the announcement of the premiere of “Life from the BBC” at the largest music-industry festival in the world – South by Southwest in Austin, Texas in March 2010.