Fly By Night

Institute History


They killed Scott LaRock. He was a D.J. from the South Bronx. And his martyrdom started the Bridge Wars. Borough against borough. Rapper against rapper. Old school against new school. Dissin' each other on records and in clubs across New York City.

This is an world with its own mythology—its own heroes and villains and codes of behavior. Its morality is every bit as complicated and contradictory as is the Mafia's or the government's. It's a peripheral world. On the fringe: underground. Except it's also a six-hundred-million-dollar-a-year industry. And when that much money is up for grabs, suckers crawl out of the woodwork to get a taste.

This is the American Dream in all its glory—bought into with a vengeance this country hasn't seen since eight million tired, horny vets came home from World War II. Rising up from the streets now, these kids see a real, attainable way out of the inner city hell they've been consigned to.

It's panoramic. And it's tough.

Two dozen characters. Story lines crossing and infecting each other. An urban Nashville. Rich is white-black. Leaves his girlfriend and two kids and tries to see what time it is in a band with his cousin, Kool Kayam, who's like a less incendiary Flavor Flav. He's no-class clown, but with hands that scratch so fast they transcend the world of novelty, and enter the world of real artistry. The third member, and leader of the band, is I. No last name, no nothing. Just I. Big, black, bald and dead behind his eyes. Disaffected. The kind of guy that, if white, might end up with an M-16 in a Kansas City Dunkin' Donuts at three o'clock in the morning. There's Denise—a dilettante in a world that won't abide them, unless they're white and female. Sam her roommate and the conscience of the movie. Naji, Lisa, junkies , lovers, innocents, the media, the record company, execs with one foot on the bandwagon and the other on an eject button-two dozen of them and all flooded with music, precariously tied together by this Beat. By this talking in rhythm.

A dozen plots ricocheting off each other tell one story the story of this world. The first sociological and artistic movement to have any real impact since the dawn of rock and roll, thirty years ago.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]