Culture Spotlight Featuring Damon Abwon Clindinin
Hailing from Irvington, NJ, Damon “Abwon” Clindinin’s career began with viral top 10 videos, with his biggest video raking in 4 million views. He then began interviewing celebrities like Johnell Young (GZA from Wu-Tang: American Saga on Hulu), 2X Grammy Award WinningProducer Kerry ‘Krucial' ' Brothers and more. This Led him to launch his own production company ‘Moonlight Media LLC’ where his short films won 13 awards, and landed him three different newspaper headlines. Damon continues to elevate his brand through writing, producing, and directing out of the box projects for the festival circuit.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? I loved it, I went to the Metaverse for the first time and saw first hand what all the hype was about. I connected with so many different filmmakers, some of them I felt like I've known for years. I wish I could've attended all of the events, I truly felt like I was part of a community. I plan on submitting more films to them in the future.
Why are stories from the culture important? Because the history books are being wiped and rewritten, Not everything has to be about our pain though, even seeing a comedy from the culture's point of view is important because these are perspectives that the world needs to see. People can assume what they think the culture is like, but only the one's experiencing it first hand can truly paint that picture for you.
What projects are you working on now? I'm the lead cinematographer on a martial arts feature named 'Karate Weirdo' with Fumio Demuro. He trained Bruce Lee and they based the character Mr. Miyagi on him. That will be out in 2023, and I'm also finishing up another short film I did named 'The Call' that sheds light on everyday decisions people make. I'm also writing a feature I plan on producing, editing projects, and creating my own content for my youtube channel. The work never ends but I'm not complaining, I'm built for all of this.
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important?There's so many festivals that just vote on your films behind closed doors and don't see the light of day, but not this one. It gives filmmakers a platform for their films to be seen, along with plenty of events and networking opportunities. That's more important to me than being selected, creating momentum for your project and collaborating with others in the future is invaluable. As indie filmmakers it's tough enough building an audience, and Harlem Film House & Hip Hop film Festival help expedite that process. It's also dope knowing people that can relate to you are the ones creating these opportunities for you with open arms.