Turfing is an Oakland-born dance form that combines roots in gang culture with elements of tutting, gliding and bone breaking; Turf Nation is a documentary directed by Jun Bae, a Tokyo-born Korean creative director, that follows the street dancers as they perform on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains and try to weave their own paths towards freedom and independence.
Director Jun Bae
Jun Bae takes us on a realistic journey to discover the Bay Area’s hidden dance gems. He starts our journey with a first-person perspective shot of entering BART train, being introduced to the phenomenon that is True Nation. Today, they are a dance crew that have individually made names for themselves by dancing for some of the biggest names in the music industry and amassing millions of views on social media. This young director has an art for creating mesmerizing scenes that will keep you glued to the screen and leave you wanting more.
We are first introduced to these boys busking their way, step by step to financial independence. We see their talent shine through the everyday fog that covers the platform and brings joy in the monotone, routine lives of those on public transit. This is a mere taste of what is to come. Jun Bae grows our affection for these hungry, young artists. Through voiceovers and cleverly shot scenes of the boys doing what they do best, we see the high and smiles they bring to the public and themselves through their art. This short documentary gives only a small snapshot of what these boys are, who they want to be, and what legacy they want to leave behind.
Jun Bae grows our affection for these hungry, young artists.
It’s not all ooh’s and ahh’s in the spotlight they managed to build for themselves, and tension between the members, the effort to protect their corner of the world they carved for themselves. The must also grapples with other’s who seek to emulate their movement and encroach on their turf, and the conflicting feelings over what a career in dance should be, versus what they hope to change about the paths to their goals.
All in all, Turf Nation is a documentary carefully shot to maximise the appeal for these underdogs and to root for them as they go about creating their legacy. This exciting film couldn’t be timelier and has been selected for the upcoming Cinequest Film Festival and the postponed Bermuda International Film Festival. Turf Nation made the official selection for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is an Award nominee.
Turf Nation is a documentary carefully shot to maximise the appeal for these underdogs and to root for them as they go about creating their legacy.
Jun Bae’s work often centers around street dancers occupying non-conventional spaces. Themes explore underground culture and freedom of movement. He holds an MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. He is the founder of PRIZM VISION. His upcoming film stars the bone breaking dancer, Kidd Strobe as he aspires to make it in the music industry as Frenchiebabyy who is also a member of Turf Nation and made headlines on America’s Got Talent.
The cast of this film have reached new heights they never imagined when they first started this journey. They have appeared in the music videos of stars like H.E.R (Yung Phil), Tyga (Lavish Don B), Kehlani (Zel) and Capolow (Velo). Yung Phil is a professional dancer/influencer from Hawaii. He has been credited to work with major artists such as H.E.R, G-Eazy, Kehlani, Jack Harlow, E-40, and many more. Lavish Don B is a professional dancer/influencer out of Oakland, California. He has been credited to work with major artists such as Future, H.E.R, Tyga, G-Eazy, Kehlani, Jack Harlow, E-40, and many more. Zel is a professional dancer/influencer out of San Francisco, California. He has been credited to work with major artists such as H.E.R, G-Eazy, Kehlani, E-40, and many more. Yung Raph: Yung Raph is a turf dancer from Hayward California. Velo is a professional dancer from the Bay Area. He has been credited to work with underground artists such as Capolow, 4mkcrane and many more.
Turf Nation is a must see, if you are not a fan of street dance you will be after you see this exciting and timely film.
Waad Asker, Just Celebrity Magazine