Sasha Dees and Philip Powel (festival directors) founded Black Soil, the first International Hip Hop Film Festival in Europe, in 2003. Black Soil took place every year in the last weekend of November in Rotterdam and the first weekend of December in Amsterdam.
Black Soil’s scope is across the board and puts Hip Hop into a broader perspective. Next to the presentation of movies inspired by DJs, graffiti, MCs and break dancers, movies derived from Hip Hop will be shown, as well as movies which have served as a source of inspiration to Hip Hop artists and to movie directors. In addition to films, Black Soil offers an extensive program, including panel discussions; and workshops (Kwikstep, and others) ; after parties with live performances of prominent DJs (Premier, Jazzy Jeff, Spinna, Rich Medina, …) and artists (Ty, Duvel, Questlove,…), exhibitions and school screenings with introductions and Q&A’s from the directors (Henry Chalfante, Kevin Fitzgerald,…).
Black Soil is providing a widespread and informative platform upon which the discussion can be led about Hip Hop culture in general and about Hip Hop film in particular. Hip Hop is a medium which voices public issues and triggers social discussion, a medium in which cultural exchange takes place between people of the most diverse backgrounds, and a medium that offers stability and identity to youths of all races across the globe. Black Soil wants this medium to get a broader context in the Netherlands and wants the cultural exchange, the progressive discussion, and the shaping of identity to get an extra stimulus.
Black Soil ended in 2009.