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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Armstead

Culture Spotlight Featuring Daniel Osorio

Born and raised in East San Jose, Daniel Osorio is a graduate of Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Communication. The mission of “East Side Hero” and our projects is empower low-income at-risk youth in urban communities, especially those who attend underserved schools. To disrupt the generational cycle of violence between Latino communities in Northern California. And show youths that it is possible to break free from the limitations being

imposed on their identity from the time they are born.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival. The Hip Hop Film festival for me has been a great way to highlight Chicano/Mexican/Latino hip-hop within the platform. For several years, music video projects that I have created have been chosen to highlighted within this wonderful festival that truly focuses on stories from the culture, regardless of race or background. The wide array of perspectives, no matter what your budget or name talent, caters to cultivating an insane abundance of quality productions at a rate which other festivals simply choose not to consider. This festival has really been a breath of fresh air and is "holding it down" for the real hip hop heads that are inspired by lyrics and excellent visual storytelling. I am truly honored as a selection in this festival truly means something special.

Why are “stories from the culture” worthy of a platform? Stories from the culture are a worthy platform because the diverse perspectives often represent a wide range of cultural, social, and individual perspectives. The festival really allows people from different backgrounds to share their experiences, beliefs, and values, fostering a true understanding among diverse groups of people under the umbrella of hip-hop. Stories, especially in real hip-hop, are powerful tools for education. The festival can teach us about different cultures, historical events, and social issues while entertaining us at the same time. This platform also challenges stereotypes and biases, promoting a more accurate and nuanced understanding of the world we live in.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? Stories are a vital part of cultural preservation. They carry traditions, histories, and values from one generation to the next. By the Harlem Film House and HHFF providing a platform for these stories, they insure that cultural heritage is not lost over time. Stories can also inspire and empower individuals. They can showcase the achievements of people from marginalized or underrepresented communities, so the organization serves as role models and a huge sources of motivation.

What projects are you working on now? I currently teach film at Downtown College Prep - Alum Rock High School (DCP-ARHS), located in the heart of East Side San Jose, a predominantly Chicano/Latino low income underserved neighborhood that I was born and raised in. The main goal is to use film as a tool to empower and inspire ESSJ youth to find their voice and express themselves authentically and inspire their surrounding community.

The mission and vision of my future film "East Side Hero" is to relate to the lives of low-income at-risk youth in underserved schools and neighborhoods to show youths that it is possible to break free from the limitations being imposed on their identity from the time they are born. You can get more information on how to follow and support the movement on IG at @eastsideheromovie.

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