Local hip-hop writer and videographer Justin Schell is in the process of directing his first feature-length documentary, and it features three Twin Cities-based musicians who use their music to bridge cultural gaps: Ghana-born rapper M.anifest, "SotaRican" songstress Maria Isa, and Hmong spoken word artist Tou SaiKo Lee.
"In addition to overturning dominant stereotypes and creating unexpected cross-generational connections, each of these artists are well-known for strengthening their local and global communities through their words, music, and actions," Schell writes in his film's mission statement.
"We Rock Long Distance weaves together the sounds and stories of three Twin Cities hip-hop artists as they journey home to Ghana, Puerto Rico, and Thailand to create unique and unexpected cross-generational collaborations."
The first leg of Schell's journey begins with M.anifest, who will bring the filmmaker to Ghana as he collaborates with his grandfather J.H. Kwabena Nketia, a respected African composer and ethnomusicologist, for the first time and performs a 10-date tour abroad.
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