Director John Alexander premiers his documentary “This Is Love” as this years opening day feature film at The Hip Hop Film Festival NYC

Director John Alexander premiers his documentary “This Is Love” as this years opening day feature film at The Hip Hop Film Festival NYC

THIS IS LOVE is a feature music documentary that follows obscure soul singer Rudy Love, whose experience in the music industry over the decades encapsulates a quintessential struggle of African American artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The new documentary This Is Love features comedian Sinbad, the king of funk George Clinton (Parliament/Funkadelic), Marsai Martin (Black-ish), as well as Fleetwood who executive, produced the film and Jay-Z. 

Rudy Love is an unsung legend, whose created hits for Ray Charles, Little Richard, and Isaac Hayes, and whose music is behind the samples of Jay Z, Prodigy, and Dilated Peoples, among many others. 

Rudy Love never wanted fame, all he wanted to do was sing. Director John Alexander’s premier at the Hip Hop Film Festival was received with open arms. I got a chance to interview the director after the viewing and this is what he had to say. 

Cyph 360: How was the screening?

John Alexander:  This Is Love’s screening at the Hip Hop Film Festival was a packed house and a very engaged crowd. Festival staff passed out beverages and concessions during the film, making it a unique and festive night. Rudy Love’s talkback after the film was informative and moving, as the crowd flocked around him for photos, autographs, and hugs.

C: What was the motivation behind the film?

JA: The motivation behind the film was to set the record straight as to who are some of the influential voices behind much of the music that listeners have been enjoying for decades. The film strives to shine a light on the countless artists who have contributed to the canon despite perhaps not being household names. Love is a case in point, as you may have never heard of him despite undoubtedly having heard his voice for years.

C: Why is Rudy’s story important to you?

JA: Rudy Love’s story is important to me personally because it epitomizes the struggles and rewards of being a true artist – in any medium. Regardless of if he was fairly compensated, credited, or acknowledged, he never let the injustices and capriciousness of the record industry stop him from singing and making his music, nor from forgiving and loving. 

C: What Did you learn most from Rudy Love?

JA: I learned from Rudy Love that we only have what is in our hearts. That which is from the heart reaches the heart is one of his family’s mottos, and it can be felt in their music. I hope the film achieves a similar effect since it was made from a place of genuine care and love.

C: Do you think the crowd embraced the message?

JA: The crowd at the NY Premiere of This Is Love definitely embraced the film’s message, as many were moved to laughter and tears. It clearly struck a chord with the viewers, both those who were already familiar with Love and more importantly those who were discovering, or rediscovering, his legend for the first time.

Thank you, John Alexander, and to the cast and crew of “This Is Love”, amazing job spotlighting Mr. Rudy Love and his contribution to music. 

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