Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking Indie Films To The Next Level

The Yes Men have been doing there brand of social/environmental activism for over 10 years now. Their latest film "The Yes Men Fix The World" originally released in 2009 sets its sites on the internet marketplace of FREE. The film is using the new P2P site VODO to blast the film far and wide onto the wide array of bit torrent networks across the world. As I write this entry the film has received over 24,000 downloads in just 3 days of being available for download. Since the tracking of torrents isn't an exact science it is likely that the number of downloads is realistically twice as much as the tracker reports.

The P2P release of The Yes Men Fix The World is not only effective in taking the film to a global Internet sized audience but it directly engages each viewer to support the efforts of making more Yes Men films. While a vast number of viewers will enjoy the documentary free of charge, a decent percentage will feel inclined to give back $5-$25 and a smaller percentage will give up to $500 as a big pat on the back to the Yes Men and their cause.

With the whopping cost of distributing the film drifting close to $0.00 the money contributed to the film by viewers online is real, rather than the net profits the Yes Men are probably still waiting for from the original release of the film.

P2P models such as VODO are giving the net and audiences the first real glimpse at the potential future of DIY internet distribution. Big thanks to the Yes Men for dropping the film gratis and staying ahead of the curve of Internet distribution.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mos Def at Streets 2010 - “As-Salaam-Alaikum" & "Wahid"

The intro of Mighty Mos Def's set at Takin' It To The Streets 2010 was released today courtesy of Endless Eye Productions who will also be doing a full length concert DVD of the festival.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

IMAN's Taking It To The Streets

(Omar Offendum, The Narcicyst, Mashouf -photo by: Leena Saleh)

I was blessed this last June to be a part of Takin' It To The Streets in Chicago.

Without saying more of what others have said about the event, it was a pleasure to be in the company with so many other Muslim artists. The festival was an amazing meeting of the minds as much as it was an arts festival. During the IMAN sponsored Friday prayer, Imam Talib reminded artists not to waver in their creativity because of allegations from some that what they do is considered illegitimate in Islam.

Imam Talib (photo by RidzDesign)

Imam Talib went on to say when the verse of the Quran "The Poets" was revealed, the Muslim poets of the time, what Imam Talib calls "The Salaf Rappers," approached the Prophet asking why God had sent revelation reprimanding them. The Prophet assured them that those "poets" who the verse is referring to are those who speak against truth and incite people to evil. The Prophet reminds his poets that the reprimand of the verse excludes "... those who believe, work righteousness, engage much in the remembrance of Allah, and defend themselves only after they are unjustly attacked."

Poet Amir Sulaiman (photo by RidzDesign)

I'm encouraged and inspired by the message of preachers like Imam Talib who realize that hip hop is a legitimate form of expression and that the work of Muslim artists is something to be celebrated and supported rather than ostracized.