Wilmore 9 Releases Festival Lineup; Includes World Premiere of Doc on Poly Football and Street Life

The ambitious Wilmore 9 team is gearing up for their first annual film, music and art festival in Downtown Long Beach this weekend, which over the last few months has drawn involvement from local crafters, comedians, skateboarders, musicians and more. 

The festival’s dense official line-up has been posted online and highlights include a world premiere of a documentary about the intersection between Poly football and gang violence by Long Beach native Duke Givens, a beer garden provided by Beachwood BBQ and Brewing and three stages of music, one of which is being curated by Long Beach music blog LB Independent. 

Givens’ film, The Game Don’t Change; Just The Players, will be premiering at the festival at 6PM on Friday and 4PM on Sunday in Poly’s Auditorium. The doc focuses on the generational effects of street gang warfare in the 6th District of Long Beach, particularly during the late ’80s and early ’90s. Director and photojournalist Duke Givens is a friend of rapper Snoop Lion and graduated with him from Poly, a school notorious for turning out talented football players. Givens has equated the gang violence in the neighborhood at the time to a war zone and created the film with an inspirational message that he hopes will inspire youth to choose the proper path.

Having the film premiere at Poly has a special significance for Givens, who said many talented football players and students at Poly have ruined their lives with gang involvement.  

“If young people come to see [the film] they’ll see the people who got killed and get the message,” said Givens. “If you’re going to gang bang in 2013 you’re going to lose your life or lose your life to prison. The choice is going to school and doing right or gangs.”  

A wide variety of short films, student films, new media, documentaries, features and music videos will be shown at various locations around Downtown including The Found Theatre, The Garage Theatre and even the Anderson Hardware parking lot. Sublime with Rome, the remnants of the original ska-punk band Sublime, will be presenting at the film award ceremony on Sunday evening.    

Over the course of three days, Wimore 9 will feature more than forty bands, independent films, art galleries, comedy, food trucks, DIY crafters, a beer garden and skateboarding demonstrations. Performers include The Last American Buffalo, The Dovelles, Stacy Clark, and Suns of Jimi among others.    

VIP all-access passes for both days includes a VIP party for $70. Two-day admission is $40 and for one day festival passes are $25. Other ticketing options are available including a $10 ticket to see The Game Don’t Change; Just the Players. All proceeds from the VIP pass purchases will benefit the non-profit organization Music Saves Lives.   Visit wilmore9.com for more details. 

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