Beat This: a Hip Hop History - Herc driving

Fresh Styles Film Festival in association with Breakin’ Convention presents a night of Hip Hop film featuring the seminal documentary ‘BEAT THIS: A HIP HOP HISTORY‘ and a Q+A with director Dick Fontaine. Originally shown as part of the BBC’s ‘Arena‘ series in 1984, ‘Beat This: a Hip Hop History’ is one of the first glimpses into the nascent hip hop culture of the Bronx.

Beat This: a Hip Hop History - DJ Kool Herc
Beat This: a Hip Hop History - Graffitti
Beat This: a Hip Hop History - Afrika Bambaataa

Looking at all of the arts of hip hop as practised by such legends as The Cold Crush Brothers, Jazzy JayBrim and The Dynamic Rockers, as  well as the musical and social revolutionary Afrika Bambaataa and hip hop’s godfather DJ Kool Herc. Dick Fontaine‘s seminal film captures the main progenitors of the scene as it evolves from a tiny street movement into an internationally disseminated culture. ‘Beat This: A Hip Hop History‘ features in-depth interviews as well as footage from Kool Herc’s original block parties. This is unmissable breaking, graffiti, rapping and DJing from back in the day, in all its crazy-costumed glory!

Breaking Convention is delighted to welcome Dick Fontaine, the director of ‘Beat This: A Hip Hop History’  to take questions after the screening. Dick Fontaine was a founder member of Granada Television‘s groundbreaking ‘World in Action‘ series and has made two films on early hip hop culture as well as many films on black music and musicians including Sonny Rollins, Marvin Gaye and Art Blakey. He is currently Head of Documentary Direction at the National Film and Television School. ‘Beat This: A Hip Hop History’ will be accompanied by a selection of short films from the touring programme of the Fresh Styles Film Festival. These include:

Foot Cred
Humourous and inventive digital short in which Normski travels to New York to find the holy grail of trainers, only to have them stepped on on the subway.

Redder Than Red
Documentary about the Hanifa ‘Queen’ Hudson, AKA Bubbles, one of the first female breakers worldwide to break into the male-dominated art form. She danced with legendary crew  ‘The B-Boys‘ outta Wolverhampton and one of the film’s highlights is the reunion of the crew, as they dance together for the first time in over 20 years.

Bling: Consequences and Repercussions
Acclaimed hard-hitting documentary narrated by Chuck D of Public Enemy examing the dark underside of U.S. hip hop’s passion for ‘bling’ – the human impact that the trade in conflict diamonds has on the population of war-torn Sierra Leone.

Thursday 27th April
Studio Theatre, Sadler’s Wells
Tickets: £6.50

Fresh Styles is the UK’s first ever film festival devoted to hip hop culture. Fresh Styles is committed to showing the best features, documentaries, shorts and music videos on this hip hop planet. It is an organisation that promotes access to cinema for marginalised filmmakers and audiences and also aims to open up the amazing vibrancy of hip hop culture to a non-hip hop audience. They are touring the UK with a selection of films during 2006 before the main festival event in Brighton in November. For more information, or to sign up for updates, please visit

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