Hip-Hop Feature "Death of a Dynasty" to Debut at Tribeca Fest
by Brian Brooks
No stranger to the screen, hip-hop is once again ready to storm theaters. Taking a cue from last year's wildly popular "8 Mile," Roc-a-Fella Records C.E.O. Damon Dash is set to premiere "Death of a Dynasty," a satire about the hip-hop world, at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival with a May 7th screening at the TriBeCa Performing Arts Center. The film, directed by and starring Dash also stars his partner, rap artist Jay-Z, in a light-hearted look at New York hip-hop's charismatic personalities and their interplay with media.
The project, which does not yet have a distributor, evolved following a meeting between Dash and Steven Beer, co-founder of entertainment and media law firm, Rudolph & Beer, LLP. "I called Damon Dash to talk about mutual interests, and he pulled from his desk a script that was pee in the pants funny," said Beer, who also served as a producer of the film, in a conversation with indieWIRE yesterday. Rudolph & Beer, through its R&B FM division, secured financing for the production through Entertainment Funding Group, LLC. The financiers work with entertainment companies on film projects that have a music emphasis.
Dash colleague Adam "Blue" Moreno wrote the script, which Beer noted "incorporates a lot of Dash's personality in it." The film, however, is not a 'reality film.' "It's a light hearted comedy that makes fun of our culture of bold face names," said Beer. "It's commentary on a widespread rumor of discord within the rap world. It is referential, but not a mockumentary." The film features cameos from such New York media notable as Chloe Sevigny, Jamie Lynn-Sigler, Lorraine Bracco, Carson Daly, Flavor Flav and the late Jam Master Jay.
Tribeca will be the first screening ever for the film, according to Beer. "Death of a Dynasty" has secured a plum time for its debut on the first full day of the main festival. "Tribeca is the perfect launching pad for an urban independent comedy film [and] is the perfect setting for a broader more commercial film," said Beer who also added that it was the producers' hope to "present [the film] to industry and the public at the same time."
Beer told indieWIRE that he believes the film plays to an important niche more recently served with the success of "8 Mile" and "Empire," which Beer also produced. No doubt the event will be a hot ticket for audiences and industry alike. "The festivities both during and after," Beer promised, will be a real spectacle "where Damon will host the party of all parties! He's the supreme host of hosts!"