Downtown Calling – directed by Shan Nicholson, narrated by Debbie Harry, and presented at The Spot by the New York International Latino Film Festival – demonstrates how the toughest pressures, applied to just the right coal, can produce diamonds. Against the backdrop of the 1970’s, when the supposed “greatest city in the world” had sunken into poverty and corruption, Downtown Calling documents the birth of New York’s most fertile musical and artistic subcultures, which continue to influence today.
Since its launch in 1999, NYILFF has become the premiere Latino film event in the country, sharing the premiere Latin filmmaking talent both from the USA and abroad with a diverse audience.
DJs Johnny Dynell and Sal Principato, two DJs that appear in the film, will perform. Producer/songwriter/remixer/impresario Johnny Dynell’s been a favorite of art and fashion crowds in NYC for over two decades, beginning at the Mud Club in 1980 before moving onto Danceteria and finding success with his first hit, “Jam Hot.” In 1990, he opened Jackie 60, which evolved into the full time club Mother. After the venues’ closing in 2000, however, Dynell has found his way back to spinning.
Throughout his three decade long career, Sal Principato has perhaps become best known as the vocalist of minimalist funk band Liquid Liquid, but after the band dissolved in 1984 he’s done everything from industrial dub, experimental, Afro-Latin, and rare groove. He currently promotes the monthly Universal Sundays event under the “Univer-SAL” banner.
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