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Culture Spotlight Featuring Gil Rios

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

Gil Rios is an award-winning Filmmaker, Director and Video Editor of A Gil Rios Production. He won the award for Best Web Series at the Hip-Hop Film Festival. He has studied the craft of video editing and directing under professionals that have worked in major tv network stations, my other skills are Cinematography and Photography. Gaining popularity through his music videos and Promotional videos, landed him in a variety of platforms such as The Rolling Stone, The Source Magazine, The Village Voice, The Huffington Post, and Fox 5 News. Currently, he is a Teaching Artist at Film at Lincoln Center.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival?

My experience was really good, I entered my pilot called Tattoo Life into the Hip-Hop Film Festival not knowing what to expect, I got selected and I was very happy. I was eagerly waiting online on CBS 1010 Wins to see if my pilot was up for any nominations, and to my surprise it was, I was up for the best new web series! I was so excited. Now as Sunday comes around the corner to see if I actually won in my category I was very nervous. To my surprise, I actually won! Also, I won another award at the Urban web summit for Best New Media so Sunday night I was a 2-time award-winning Filmmaker! I was very happy. Since then I’ve gone to use this as a platform for other projects. I did a non-profit commercial that landed on Fox News. I became an official Teaching Artist for Film At Lincoln Center, I also go to schools to tell my journey as a filmmaker to kids who want to become filmmakers.

Why are stories from the culture important?

I think it’s extremely important to tell the stories from our culture because it gives people who are a part of the culture a chance to see who we are, to see how we express ourselves, to see our stories and to better understand us as a people. It’s important to tell the stories of our Hip-Hop pioneers to learn how hard they worked to get where they are and for the people in the culture to see that success is not given, it's earned. It’s Important that our stories get told from our perspective as people apart from the culture, to see our directors, writers, and filmmakers telling compelling stories about how they see the World.

What projects are you working on now?

Projects I’m working on Right now, I’m still working on my series Tattoo Life, I’m also working on a mini-documentary on a legally blind Brooklyn rapper by the name of J Dollaz and his struggle with day to day life as he battles his vision problems and fights to become a professional rapper despite his disability, I’m Working on a full Documentary on a 20-year dance instructor and how she helped bring her Indian dance called Masala Bhangra to the United States and the World and I’m also working on my first ever short narrative called The Nervous Man.

Why do you think the Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival is important?

It’s Important because it gives filmmakers a chance and a voice. There is finally a place where people of the culture can tell their stories from not just here in the United States but from all over the world, and get recognized for it, a place where you can be seen, respected and it's at the Hip-Hop Film Festival. It changed my life and it will change other people’s lives as well.

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