That means the Love, Peace, & Hip-Hop festival is already in full swing on the 1700 block of Main Street. The event boasts a bevy of genuine headliners like Nice & Smooth, Monie Love, and Big Gipp (of The Goodie Mob) but is worth attending largely because of it's family-friendly celebration of the vibrancy and importance of hip-hop culture. Various vendors and non-profits will be dotting the sidewalks as DJs, B-Boy dance crews, and hip-hop visual artists gather together in the spirit of DJ Afrika Bambaataa's "4 pillars of hip-hop."
Jasper is particularly stoked for Big Gipp though--Goodie Mob is one of the key outfits in the Atlanta hip-hop scene of the 1990s, and is still one of the most influential outfits in defining "The Dirty South" sound for a genre too-often thought of in terms of East Coast (NYC) vs. West Coast (LA).
There's also a full day of screenings to take advantage of! The full schedule is at available at the Indie Grits website here, but it's worth noting how many blocks of shorts are available today--the Embarrassing Love block at 2pm, People Portraits at 2:30, Four Minute Film Frenzy at 4pm, Heritage in Drift at 4:30pm, Burdens of the Past at 8:30pm, and Summoning the Supernatural at 9pm. These blocks are a great chance to experience the full range of filmmaking possibilities and thrive off their juxtaposition to one another, something which is commonplace (and great) a film festival but that we don't often experience otherwise.
We attended Burdens of the Past yesterday and can personally recommend that block. It's mostly a collection of portraits of people you would likely scorn--a murderer, child molester, and campus preacher--but each vignette is lovingly rendered and looks to find the depth of humanity in its subject matter. It also showcases the range of motivations and possibilities inherent in making shorts too.
Features tonight include Western at 6pm, a nonfiction take on the genre that still simmers prominently in our national imagination, and Vida Propia, which sounds like a heartbreaking observational documentary of first-generation Mexican immigrants struggling to survive in North Carolina. The latter screens at 6:30pm.
Also going on tonight in the second performance of this year's Spork in Hand Puppet Slam! It's hard to say what exactly will happen at this anything-goes, adults-only collection of puppetry pieces, but Prairie Willows will be performing and puppeteers from around the Southeast will be showcasing the incredible creative abundance of their art form. That starts at 7pm.
Then there's the closing party at 10pm, where you can get down with all the filmmakers to the tunes of Mechanical River and Infinitikiss. We would say that's a wrap on Indie Grits, but there's more stuff in store for tomorrow, when festival winners will screen throughout the day...