Turns out The Otherside isn’t quite done yet. The cut of the Seattle hip-hop documentary that was offered as a press screener earlier this month will not be the same cut that audiences see when the film premieres at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 31.
“I got a lovely call yesterday,” Torok says. “They had to gracefully pull out of the film because they didn’t agree with the message. It wasn’t the same artistic message they were going for.”
In a statement later issued by Shabazz Palaces member Tendai Maraire and relayed through Torok, the artist said that “Shabazz Palaces and THEESatisfaction were excluded from the film following a decision that was reached by all parties involved and was arrived at in private. We would prefer to keep it that way.”
The 47-minute film, which includes myriad artists from the Seattle scene, features a live performance by Shabazz Palaces, music video footage of THEESatisfaction and a number of soundbites from an interview with Maraire.
“The artists did sign releases, except for Tendai,” Torok said. “The only way he was going to sit down is if he could sign off on it in the end. Normally not something we wanted, but was needed in trying to capture the historical relevance of the Seattle hip hop scene.”
Tendai provided much of the historical relevance for the film, as I noted in my review of the film. His absence will no doubt change the film, but Torok is confident that between past footage and potential new interviews currently in the works, he will emerge with a cut that stands up to any scrutiny.
Despite the fact that he will spend the next three weeks scrambling to fix his film, the director is sanguine about the development.
“The other guys are pretty disappointed,” Torok says, referring to producers J.R. Celski and Vinny Dom. “I still feel like there is a lot to work with.”