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  • Writer's pictureArmiel Chandler

Culture Spotlight Series Featuring Marvin Van Buren

Marvin Van Buren is an award-winning director and cinematographer from Queens, New York. His narrative work has screened in Europe and North America. His debut feature film Contents Under Pressure won the best feature film at 2019's Hip Hop Film Festival. Marvin has created work for companies such as MTV, Esquire, Under Armour, and Nike.

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

My experience with HHFF was surreal. My screenplay, a music video I directed, and my feature film "Contents Under Pressure" were all selected in 2019's HHFF.

My feature film "Contents Under Pressure" won the best feature film category, which was a great experience that led to opportunities that are currently helping my career now. I have the Hip Hop Film Festival to thank.

Why are stories from the culture important?

Stories from the "culture" aka "us" are important because it gives our people control over how we are depicted in the media. Stories about us keep us everlasting and provide a legacy. 

What projects are you working on now?

I am currently writing and developing another feature called "Tyler". It's a drama that takes place in a small upstate New York town hit by an economic crash and how a young man results in drastic measures to leave. I recently finished a branded short film for a liquor company that is due to come out in June.

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

The Harlem film house and Hip Hop Film Festival is so important for the fact it provides a service and outlet for budding filmmakers and creators to hone their craft and gain information about the industry. With our current global pandemic now the Harlem film house and the Hip Hop Film Festival are valuable resources with their webinars and interviews.

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