Unstoppable focuses on the early days of London’s Hip Hop scene (1979 – 1988). It is a 52 minute long documentary film divided in four closely linked sections. Each section is an independent focus on a specific issue and all together they form a feature length documentary.
Unstoppable started with the association of two hip hop lovers: Giuseppe Pipitone, a published author who has spent the past twenty years documenting the previously unwritten stories of the Black Panthers and of hip hop artists worldwide; and Lidia Ravviso, an independent filmmaker with a taste for socially engaged topics, who has directed music videos for Italy’s most renowned hip hop artists. One masters words, the other images; together they decided to tell the somewhat unknown story of how UK hip hop grew roots in 1980’s London. The film is produced by Italy's Woka and the London based 11 Little Films: two film production companies that follow the entire development of their projects, from script to post-production, guaranteeing a total involvement of their crews. Unstoppable is thereby an independent, dynamic and international project aiming to reach a global audience
The birth of hip hop is no secret; scores of books, films or songs retrace the path of this powerful cultural movement, born from nothing to conquer everything. From the Bronx to the whole of New York, from the underground to the mainstream, from the US to the world - hip hop has spread on every ground it touched, adapting itself to each texture. One might think this adaptation would have been smoother in the UK than elsewhere - sharing a language with the US, having a similar international musical prominence, and the two boasted strong artistic connections. Yet this common ground hindered the emergence of an original British scene. Although American artists were the point of departure for artists from all European countries, most had sufficient cultural and linguistic differences to help establish a clear line between them and their US influences, while British kids were stalled by the temptation to imitate rather than innovate. Equally undermining was the belief, widespread among the UK fan community, that hip hop ought to be from the US. Full Stop.
Yet, a handful of daring teenagers wanted to take their passion further, to do more than just admire Afrika Bambaataa and RUN DMC. They wanted to be an active part of the movement, to integrate its spirit, learn from it, work on it to finally produce their own sound, with their own accent, rooted in the soundtrack of their childhood, expressing the joys and struggles of their age. From kids they became artists, they created a scene, a community, a foundation for a host of talents to develop, and an alternative to punk to express the pains and revolt of a youth growing up in the austere and segregated Britain of the Thatcher era.
They were unstoppable, and thanks to you, so are we!
Our crew has already met many of the scene's pioneers who will contribute to our project. Some continue to pursue their musical career while others have since changed occupation. Thirty years on, they have both the perspective and insight to analyse the circumstances, the strength and legacy of what they built in the 80's. All have shown a great enthusiasm for the project, happy to share their memories; intrigued and touched that it came from Italian counterparts, Giuseppe and Lidia, who shared their excitement for hip hop from its inception. Our round tables have gathered old friends who hadn't seen each other for years and have produced wild and wise confrontations that helped us understand the subject with more depth and conviction than any reading or archives could ever convey. Everyone contributed, whether it be pictures, videos, flyers or sound mixes… Each is a valuable piece in the puzzle of our narrative.
This project is real teamwork - be part of it!
All the money invested so far came straight from our pockets.
Self-funding the pre-production stage was necessary in order to shape and launch our project. We managed to gather invaluable testimonies, archive footage and pictures that we couldn’t believe to have found, and the list of contributors is growing day-by-day.
Now we need your help to make it to the next stage.
We have planned two weeks of intensive photography in order to gather all the missing footage. The money we raise with this campaign will help us pay for travel expenses, equipment we have to rent and technicians who have the necessary expertise to ensure top quality photography and sound.
As you can see above, after the main photography there will still be two stages in need of funding so all surplus money will be used to develop these more advanced steps. Also, since our project is developing on a daily basis, we are sure that having extra money available will allow us to make that one extra trip to meet that one extra person that could bring invaluable input to our research.
If you can’t donate money you can still support our project by talking about it, liking and sharing our Facebook page and website, and of course, if you happen to have some memorabilia of this time prior to mobile phones and digital cameras that you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Support from the scene and from hip hop lovers around the world is essential, without you we can't succeed!
We are very proud to offer a unique and original selection of rewards. Many artists we met showed their support not only by sharing their knowledge but also by offering items for our IndieGoGo campaign. We will release only a few of them at a time, refreshing the list periodically so keep an eye on it and make sure you don’t miss these rare opportunities!
Check out our website for more info about our perks.