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Vertigo Films acquires SXSW doc The Great Hip Hop Hoax

EXCLUSIVE: Vertigo Films has snapped UK rights to new feature doc The Great Hip Hop Hoax by director Jeanie Finlay.

The feature tells the story of Billy Boyd and Gavin Bain, two Scottish students from Dundee who fooled the music business by passing themselves off as Californian rappers Sillibi n Brains.

The Great Hip Hop Hoax receives its world premiere on tomorrow [March 14] at SXSW. It is the second SXSW acquisition that Vertigo has announced this week, following its pick up of new Stephen Hawking doc, Hawking.

In the film, their story is illustrated through animated reconstructions with characters created by artist Jon Burgerman and brought to life by 2013 BAFTA-winning animators Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson.

The doc also boasts extensive broadcast and personal archive as well as interviews with witnesses to their antics, including testimony from music industry execs who were taken in by the duo.

It is a Glimmer Films and Met Film production, made through BBC Scotland, BBC Storyville and Creative Scotland. The producer is Al Morrow.  

Finlay’s previous film, Sound It Out, premiered in the 24 Beats Per Minute strand during SXSW in 2011.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Jeanie on this profound documentary which stands out as a testament to the lengths people will go to in pursuit of fame and the ultimate fall out when they achieve it,” commented Allan Niblo of Vertigo. “We’re hoping the UK audiences will be as moved by Silibil n Brains (as) we are.”

“Met and Glimmer are thrilled to be working with one of leading film distributors in the UK. We love Vertigo’s energy and enthusiasm for the movie and can’t wait to start working with them,” producer Morrow stated.

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