The musical documentary Dark City Beneath the Beat will make its world premiere as part of Toronto’s Hot Docs online festival, which runs from May 28 to June 6. Singer/rapper/producer TT The Artist, the director of the film, spoke with 360°Sound last month about her 65-minute film, which spotlights the music genre and dance culture known as “Baltimore club.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, has moved its screening of over 140 films online. Pre-recorded Q&As with filmmakers and live virtual events will also be included. Some films will be available to check out for $9 each ($8 for Hot Docs members) until June 24. The fest is limited to people who live in Ontario.
We checked back with TT, who missed out on an opportunity to premiere her film at SXSW after that event was cancelled. According to her, “The cancellation of the film festivals left a lot of independent filmmakers with a lesser chance to pick up distribution and get their film out there in a bigger way. Now, I’m restrategizing because I do feel that happened to our film. The festivals would have generated enough word-of-mouth buzz for distributors to look at what we’re doing and take a risk on this new format of storytelling.”
TT believes the Hot Docs premiere will be the catalyst to some new interest around the film. She said they have several other festival screenings currently pending and are receiving ads from international fests for pre-screening applications. “It’s good because they’re seeking us out right now. I feel that Hot Docs will be the spark of everything, and we’ll see a ripple effect.”
TT thinks they will get “really good traction in the festival world” and she hasn’t given up on landing a major distribution deal. “We just gotta give it to the people. It’s a people’s choice film. If we were to put this film online right now for free, it would go viral because of the nature of the content.”
Baltimore club producer Mighty Mark is one of the key figures in Dark City Beneath the Beat. Mighty Mark’s Gold Room Music and Media Studio is featured as one scene shows him making a club track from scratch. Most of the soundtrack for the film was produced in his studio.
Mighty Mark said he’s “super excited” for viewers to get a glimpse into Baltimore club. “I think that viewers not from Bmore will grow to love and appreciate Bmore club, but also understand that it’s more than just music; it’s a lifestyle and culture.”
For more information on the online festival as well as a listing of the films, visit the official Hot Docs site.