Volume 21, Number 51 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 1 - 7, 2009
‘P-Star’ rocks filmfest’s drive-in
By Chelsea-Lyn Rudder
“P-Star Rising” is a behind the scenes look at what it takes to break into the entertainment industry, and the realities of living pay check to pay check in New York City. A special screening of the documentary was held on April 25th at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Drive-In event at the World Financial Center plaza.
Filmmaker Gabriel Noble followed the up and coming rapper Priscilla “P-Star” Diaz and her family over the course of four years. The film opens with father, Jesse, escorting 9-year-old Priscilla to a New York club to perform at midnight at a free style open mic night. The stage lights shine on the innocent looking girl and she morphs into an experienced performer. The crowd is blown away. Over the course of the documentary Priscilla demonstrates that she is beyond her years on and off stage.
Priscilla’s maturity is a reaction to her often difficult home life which is chronicled in the film. Priscilla, her father and sister, have been living in a Harlem shelter for more than a year. Jesse is a single parent, raising both of his daughters due to their mother’s ongoing drug problem. Jesse, who acts as Priscilla’s manager, was once a performer. He set his dreams aside to raise his family. He throws all of his energy and most of his money into Priscilla’s career. Some of Jesse’s methods are unorthodox, but the film portrays him as a loving father who believes in his daughter’s talent.
In addition to the film, the Drive-In audience was treated to a live performance from Priscilla and the cast of the new “Electric Company”. Priscilla, now 14, plays Jessica on the updated version of the “Electric Company” which airs on PBS Kids on Fridays at 4:30 p.m.