Busta Rhymes and Russell Simmons Talk Manhood in New Film

ImageBeyond Beats And Rhymes, a film on hip-hop and masculinity featuring interviews with Mos Def, Busta Rhymes and Russell Simmons, is premiering in Brooklyn, NY this May, as part of the Sundance at BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Film Series.

"This particular screening is a dream come true," filmmaker Byron Hurt said via statement. "I've come to BAM many times as a moviegoer, and I have always wanted to show my film here. BAM is a great venue for Beyond Beats And Rhymes and I look forward to showing the film in Brooklyn - the home of so many legendary rappers like Biggie, Jay-Z and Talib Kweli. I am honored that the Sundance Institute and BAM selected it to be among the great films that will be shown during the series."

Beyond Beats and Rhymes: A Hip-Hop Head Weighs in on Manhood in Hip-Hop Culture is a documentary film by Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist. Beyond Beats and Rhymes, which also features Jadakiss, Chuck D and Fat Joe, addresses difficult topics such as masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in hip-hop culture.

In addition to interviews with accomplished rappers like Chuck D and Mos Def, the film also features commentary from outspoken figures including Michael Eric Dyson, Kevin Powell and Sarah Jones, as well as interviews with young women from Spelman College, an all-female historically Black college in Atlanta.

BAM is also planning to present a talkback with Hurt as a part of the premiere, allowing audiences the opportunity to further explore some of the issues raised by the film.

"Whenever people see the film, they want to talk about it afterward," explained Hurt. "So we are bringing together a dynamic panel with some of the people who appear in the film. So it should be a lively conversation about all the issues that come up."

Beyond Beats and Rhymes is premiering in New York as the result of a new partnership between The Sundance Institute and BAM. As an official selection of the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, Beyond Beats and Rhymes received standing ovations from sold out audiences, in turn earning rave reviews at the festival, which screened 120 films this January in Park City, Utah. 13 of these have been selected for screening through the Sundance at BAM Film Series this May.

Screenings for Beyond Beats and Rhymes will take place on May 18, 19 and 21 at BAM.

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