Film: “Slumgods” (2015)
Hip Hop has evolved from a fringe musical movement that gave voice to the voiceless in Brooklyn, NY to become among the World’s most dominant musical and cultural forces. Hip Hop’s ability to connect with people of all walks of life has lead it to grow in even the most unexpected places.
The Slumgods are known to be among India’s first Hip Hop crews, who live and breathe its culture in the heart of Dharavi, Mumbai. In the middle of what is sadly too often referred to as one of the World’s largest slums, “Slumgods” reveals the story of an incredibly articulate and wise founder, Akash Dhangar, and the emergence of Hip Hop in Dharavi.
“Slumgods” tells the story of how Hip Hop came into the lives of these inspiring young artists, and how it has become a way of life, and a way of inspiration and mobilization for so many. the Slumgods crew has adopted all disciplines of Hip Hop, from Rap to breakdancing, beatboxing graffiti and DJ culture, and uses Hip Hop as a tool to inspire, engage, and elevate its youth.
Against all odds, Akash and the Slumgods have grabbed the attention of major media outlets and influencers, including AR Rahman, Shekhar Kapur, Universal Music, and Qyuki. “Slumgods” shows us how Akash and his crew set out to educate the world not only about their ‘hood, Dharavi, but also about the real voice of Hip Hop that has been so poorly misrepresented in India and across the world.
Anuj Rastogi is a Toronto based multi-disciplinary artist. As a film composer, music producer, spoken word artist and writer, he has composed and produced for film, studio, and has performed with a number of diverse artists across Canada, the US, the UK and India. As a Spoken Word artist, Anuj uses elements of word play and storyline that thread together broad narratives about social, political, personal and human insights. Anuj is currently working on a number of projects including a new studio album, a new Spoken Word EP, and two new feature scores in pre-production for 2015 / 2016. Anuj brings a forward a sensitivity that is a unique product of his intuition and environment, and is now adding “filmmaker” to his bucket-list.
While Anuj has produced, directed and edited independent and concept music videos in the past, “Slumgods” is his first film release. “Slumgods” began as a chance-idea and grew into a documentary intended to tell the story of one incredible hip hop crew, and its founder, in a most unlikely place; Dharavi, Mumbai. The documentary is largely a labor of love, and required an incredible “run & gun” approach, improvisation, and and spontaneity under uncertain circumstances to capture and create.