Hip Hop will be represented at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival’s Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusio section. The world premiere of writer/director Diego Ongaro’s Down With The King will take place at the annual sidebar event in Cannes, France scheduled for July 6-17.
Down With The King stars Grammy-nominated rapper Freddie Gibbs in his feature film debut. Gibbs is also credited as an executive producer for the motion picture. The Indiana native shared the news of the movie’s ACID Cannes selection on his social media accounts.
— Big 🐰 (@FreddieGibbs) June 8, 2021
“My primary desire with Down with the King is to collide two unlikely worlds: rap and farming, and to share the improbable story of a rap star who falls in love with the countryside and the refuge that it offers him from his own reality and fame,” stated Diego Ongaro. “Many films that feature the Hip Hop community tell underdog ‘success stories,’ whereas Down with the King does the contrary.”
The French-born, Massachusetts-based filmmaker added, “Mercury is at the top of the Hip Hop world but desperately seeks a simpler life. Freddie Gibbs and I worked intimately together to craft Mercury’s character and backstory; some of it pulled from Freddie’s experiences and values, much of it invented. It was an absolute thrill working with someone as sharp and multi-talented as Freddie in this collaborative way.”
Freddie Gibbs revealed on Showtime’s Desus & Mero that he studied Hollywood legend Samuel L. Jackson as an inspiration for his turn to acting. Besides the Alfredo album creator, the Down with the King cast also includes Jamie Neumann, David Krumholtz, Sharon Washington, and Bob Tarasuk.
Diego Ongaro wrote on Instagram, “A dream come true: My new film Down With the King is going to Cannes – in the ACID section!!! This film that I thought would never see the light of day. I couldn’t be more proud to be there and can’t wait for the world to discover the film.”