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Sure, it's hip to be square these days, but MC Frontalot and his rap group take it to a whole new level with sweet beats about all things nerdly. Video games, blogs that suck, robots, a fondness for goth chicks, and so much more are just fodder for this MC and his quick rhymes. Wear your pocket protector for the March 22 Tribeca Cinemas Doc Series screening of Negin Farsad's documentary about Frontalot and the nerdcore hip hop genre, Nerdcore Rising.
Farsad gave us the scoop on the fans of nerdcore, hustling to raise money the project, and why Nerdcore Rising is for non-nerds too.
TribecaFilm.com: Please describe the story you tell in your film. What inspired you to tell that story?
Negin Farsad: The film basically follows the first national tour of MC Frontalot and his band. They went on the road hoping to win over fans, determining whether this thing, "nerdcore hip hop," is a real genre, and whether it's got a legitimate fanbase. I personally wanted to see if they could survive on the road without constant Internet access—get four nerds in a van and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
Throughout the film I ask experts of every stripe, from Weird Al Yankovic to Prince Paul from De La Soul, whether pursuing the nerdcore genre is considered a fool's errand. Figuring that out was one of the inspirations behind the film because I didn't necessarily believe that "nerdcore" was a real thing, or that there was an audience out there. And yet here are these guys, willing to stake their time, effort, and money on going on tour and really committing to it. But it was the fans that sealed the deal—there weren't that many of them on the first tour—hell, in some towns there probably still aren't that many. But however many there are, you can bet they are truly hilarious, charming, quirky, socially awkward, unnaturally smart, and everything in between. They made it possible for me to make a comedy out of this documentary genre, and I'm really grateful they did.
TribecaFilm.com: Can you tell us a little about MC Frontalot and the band?
TribecaFilm.com: Making documentaries is not an easy road. What was the biggest challenge in getting your film made? How did you overcome it?
The other major hurdle was getting interviews. Lots of people just didn't want to be associated with a nerd movie. But again, begging was the solution, persistent begging. So to any filmmaker out there, I say, swallow your pride, and grovel! You might lose your soul by the end of the process, but at least you'll have a movie!
TribecaFilm.com: What's up next for you as a director?
TribecaFilm.com: What makes Nerdcore Rising a must-see?
Director Negin Farsad and MC Frontalot will be in attendance.
The Tribeca Cinemas bar will be open before and after the screening—stop in for a drink and mingle with other movie lovers.