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  • Writer's pictureEdwin Suriel

Culture Spotlight Featuring Shai Frumkin

Shai Frumkin is an Actress and a Writer based in NYC. Originally from Tel Aviv, Israel, she served two years in the Israel Defense Force. She is a graduate of the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, NYC, where she acquired the Vincent D’Onofrio Scholarship Award . She is currently in pre-production of her next upcoming films.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival? The Hip Hop Film Festival is one of the best Film Festivals in NYC, hands down. What makes this festival so special is the tight-knit community of like-minded creatives that are eager to connect and build with each other. Even during COVID, HHFF found a way to make the experience feel fresh and as lively as its in-person events.

Why are stories from the culture important? In the time that we’re living in, there has never been a more urgent need for these stories. They are crucial and necessary, in order to thrive as a community.

What projects are you working on now? We’re continuing our festival circuit with our film, Dream State, which is an Official Selection at this year’s festival. Directed by NYU grad Sean Velasco-Dodge, written by myself and also starring Samuel Kellman and me. Beyond that, I recently finished writing a film named, Mia and will soon start looking for its right cast and crew. It tells the story of a traumatized soldier who struggles with her new reality, after losing her partner in a military mission gone wrong. I am also working on a film named, Trash Mountain, alongside director Marine Brun-Franzetti; We recently cast the award-winning actor Frederick Du Rietz, and we’re excited to begin production.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? The Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are the grandmasters of giving a platform to confidently raise voices and tell stories. That level of support is vital for emerging filmmakers, especially in an industry with few opportunities.

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