Culture Spotlight Featuring David Djaco
David Djaco is an aspiring filmmaker originally native to Harlem, New York. Since attending both the School of Visual Arts and Brooklyn College, Djaco has directed and produced a number of short films and projects. He's appeared at local festivals, and also recently gained a fiscal sponsorship from IFP for his latest short "Happy Birthday, Corey" which is currently in post-production.
Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival. I've had the HHFF on my radar for a while now. As a native originally from Harlem, and an artist that enjoys rotating in and out of the Hip Hop scene, I always wanted to create something spectacular for the festival. Although it's disappointing not being able to experience it in-person with my first selection, the community involved with the event makes me eager to make myself more and more familiar in the future.
Why are stories from the culture important? As African-Americans, we have to make sure we are at the forefront of telling OUR stories and sharing OUR experiences (in all kinds of varieties). We have to make sure the narrative of African-Americans and our community does not become stagnant or silenced. Most importantly, it is key that black creatives have an outlet to tell these stories and thrive.
What projects are you working on now? At the moment, I have one short film in post-production. It's nearly done and I'm hoping to get it done by early 2021. It's the biggest production I've done thus far in every sense. Besides that, I've been writing little shorts here and there during quarantine; some interesting things I could possibly develop in the future. There's also a little project I've had on my mind that might be coming soon...
Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? Like I mentioned before, it's important that black creatives have an outlet to express themselves and thrive as artists. Having local organizations like the Harlem Film House and the Hip Hop Film Festival gives artists (especially young aspiring artists) the space to be seen. Black artists should be getting more familiar with each other and supporting our own content with fervor.