Wellspring nabs rights to hip-hop spoof

Comedy boasts many music-star cameos

Gotham and L.A.-based arthouse distrib Wellspring has acquired worldwide rights, excluding North America, to hip-hop mogul Damon Dash’s “Death of a Dynasty” and will launch its world sales campaign with market screenings this week in Cannes.

A spoof of the multi-platinum Roc-A-Fella records empire headed by Dash and creative partner Jay-Z, the film chronicles a scam engineered by music impresarios to turn the tables on the media after years of negative representation of the hip-hop industry. It stars Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Devon Aoki, rapper Capone and Robert Stapleton.

“I’m really proud of this picture because I think it represents the plight of hip-hop and how the press interprets what’s going on with different personalities,” Dash says.

Premiered as a special screening at the recent Tribeca Film Fest, the comedy includes a roster of music-star cameos, among them Dash and Jay-Z along with Flavor Flav, Jam Master Jay, Ed Lover, Dr. Dre, Darryl McDaniel, Duncan Sheik and Noreaga. Other celeb appearances include Chloe Sevigny, Lorraine Bracco, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Carson Daly, Walt Frazier and Rashida Jones.

Deal was brokered by Wellspring’s head of acquisitions Marie Therese Guirgis and exec VP of worldwide sales Sheri Levine with R&B FM topper Steven C. Beer, who co-produced the pic with Roc-A-Fella Films. Dash and Beer will be in Cannes for market screenings Sunday and Monday, as well as a Sunday night party.

“Wellspring understands how well the film matches the vastly underserved international marketplace that embraces hip-hop culture,” Beer says.

Wellspring is also reissuing the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder in the U.S.

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