If you're ready for something different this weekend, come downtown for the 8th annual CineFest. The free four-day event, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Arts Initiatives at UW-Madison, WUD Film and Music Committees and the Hip Hop Association, will look at how hip hop has evolved over time, and on an international scale.
The performances will start on Thursday, Nov. 8 and run through Sunday, Nov. 11. Thursday night's activities start at the Orpheum Theater, with a performance by Paul Flores and the Chicano Messengers and the film From Mambo to Hip-Hop: A Bronx Tale, an hour-long documentary about the generations of music in the South Bronx.
Willie Ney, Executive Director of the Multicultural Arts Initiative, says the performances will exemplify the wide-ranging hip hop culture influencing the world.
"CineFest is really diverse with films focused on hip hop culture around the world and films about classic hip hop, contemporary hip hop and spoken word," says Ney. "The performances range from Chicano-centric to urban hip hop to a female reggaeton artist who, as far as I know, has never played in Madison."
Friday's events feature the 25th anniversary screening of , in the memorial Union's Rathskellar at 8:30 p.m. The film follows Kazi, a former homeless teen who uses hip hop to change his life around and influence other teens. An after-party follows at the Rathskeller.
"Friday night should be really interesting at the Rathskeller, beginning with the film introduced by the featured star, Kazi," says Ney. "It will be followed with a live performance by his crew and featuring Reggaeton star La Bruja and a First Wave student from our program."
The event continues with themed days featuring films from around the world. Saturday, for instance, focuses on documentaries: Masizakhe: Let Us Build Together, from South Africa; , from Germany; and Raices de mi Corazon, Oggun: An Eternal Presence, Los Hijos de Baragua, El Alacran, and Mission Against Terror.
With the continued popularity of hip hop culture and spoken word, it is hard to predict how many people from the community will show-up at CineFest, but if a recent event of the Multicultural Arts Initiative (where Ney says they had to turn away a couple hundred people), is any indication, Madison's hip hop fans will be out in full force.
"We want a broad and diverse group of audiences to attend, as has been the case for all of OMAI's events," says Ney. "We take pride that this festival is meant to present multicultural images and art forms that aren't normally available at ongoing events on campus."
Locations and times for all events featured in Cinefest are detailed online by the Wisconsin Union Directorate.