An offshoot of the Center for Hip Hop Education, the first Hip Hop Film Festival kicks off at UCLA Jan. 19. The free festival aims to capture the essence of urban hip-hop culture through documentaries and films about its history, the style of freelancing, graffiti art, and more. To our ears that sounds, well, dope. Finally: a hip-hop event that aims to "empower the urban arts community" instead of bling-obsessed rappers spewing four-letter words. The festival, which plans to tour nationwide and abroad later this year, hopes to remind people of the positive aspects of hip-hop culture by promoting "social and individual responsibility while countering the apathy, cynicism, and violence so pervasive in society today." Word.
>> Royce Hall, UCLA, Westwood. Jan. 19-22. Free. (310) 980-6620. www.hiphopfilmfestival.com.