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PUSH director Kevin Knemesis Smith

Interview: Q&A

PUSH director Kevin “Knemesis” Smith talks new short film & confirms sequel

Kevin "Knemesis" Smith (Photo: Supplied)

PUSH director Kevin “Knemesis” Smith talks new short film & confirms sequel

On May 4, Goldmine Media 1 pulled the trigger on Part 1 of their three part short film, PUSH.

Directed by Toronto recording artist, actor, and videographer Kevin “Knemesis” Smith and written by Justin “Got Beats” Rochester, PUSH “stems in Montréal when Angel is put in a predicament she didn’t ask for and is now being pushed into a lifestyle that she now has to adapt to.”

Simply put, Angel, played by Zhané MJ, suddenly finds herself holding a large stash of drugs and decides to head to Toronto with her girl Monika (Joscelyn H.) to unload them. Angel is on the run since her finger prints are all over the scene of a deadly shooting, and quickly becomes the target of rival dealers. PUSH is proud to boast an all-female lead cast which also includes characters Pay Dey (Shar-Dey Phipps-Walker) and Silence (Mona F.).

 
Scene from PUSH

Scene from PUSH

“I knew that I wanted to have females as the lead characters so it would stand out amongst the typical concepts I watch and like. But this needed to be different.”

Along with Knemesis himself, PUSH has several ties to the Canadian hip-hop scene including cameos by Bizz Loc and Chromazz, and a strong supporting role by Knem’s sister (and rapper) Baby Grhyme. Canadian music is also showcased on the film’s soundtrack, including a song by Knemesis, “Up The Revenue.”

“The music video will be a movie soundtrack style video coming out ASAP and will using it to promote the movie.”

Knemesis, who has shot countless music videos for Canadian artists, handled the short film’s casting, directing, cinematography and lighting, as well as editing in Post-production.

Part 3 of PUSH premiered on June 19, and the clip has already received just shy of 5K streams. Part 1 recently passed 16K and Part 2 is sitting at a healthy 8K making for a pretty decent audience retention rate. With the entire short film now available for streaming, Knemesis is now seeking larger promotional outlets including the festival circuit.

“Now the plan is to put it together and PUSH it to the film festivals. The potential is there so it’s just to right move to take it to the next level.”

We recently had the opportunity to interview Knemesis about PUSH. Along with confirming there will be a sequel, Knem provides various other interesting details about how the short film came together, what the plans are to get it more widely seen, and the status of his music career.

You can check out the Q&A below along with Parts 1 to 3 of PUSH.


Q&A: Kevin “Knemesis” Smith

HipHopCanada: Knemesis huge thanks for taking time to speak with us. Let’s get right into it. What was the inspiration for PUSH? When did you originally have the idea for the short film?

Knemesis: Thanks for reaching out, it’s appreciated. The inspiration for making a short film in general came from me wanting to level up from just music videos. PUSH is one of four specific movie concepts I had over the years and always planned to make them short films just to get the ideas into actual visual material and take them from there to max the potential. The actual idea came across almost three years ago when I called up my homie Got Beats. I knew that I wanted to have females as the lead characters so it would stand out amongst the typical concepts I watch and like. But this needed to be different. From there it was Got Beats who wrote up the entire script and then I was able to direct it.

HipHopCanada: Can you speak about the actors and team you enlisted for the film?

K: Yeah, I hand picked the entire cast and production from the potential I see in them. For most of the cast it was their first time acting but they’re actually all inspiring actors. The lead four girls Angel, Monika, Pay Dey, and Silence definitely did their thing. Big up to Bizz Loc and Chromazz for the cameos too. Neither was a part the script but I felt it was needed. Got Beats is an amazing writer, he comes up with ideas rapidly and they’re good! I contacted Apostolos Films to help me out with the VFX and Audio Butter to handle the mixing of the audio. On set, I did the lighting, directing and cinematography… then went back to editing.

 
Scene from PUSH

Scene from PUSH

HipHopCanada: The third and final part just dropped yesterday. What’s next for PUSH and do you have plans to shop it to film festivals?

K: Yeah, PUSH is really one movie that was released in three parts because of the lockdown situation worldwide. It was the best move to capitalize getting the initial attention three times, over just releasing it one time. Now the plan is to put it together and PUSH it to the film festivals. The potential is there so it’s just to right move to take it to the next level.

HipHopCanada: The short film has received a ton of praise on YouTube and other social media platforms. What kind of response have you gotten from the film industry?

K: Yeah, the love is real the feedback is good the people love it! A few distributors are hitting my email saying that they really see the potential and want to help out. Just wanna make sure the right moves are made and in my eyes with the third part finally out, now is the time to propose it and maximize the potential.

 
Scene from PUSH

Scene from PUSH

HipHopCanada: Will there be a sequel to PUSH?

K: From the feedback we’ve been getting, it’s a must. It’s going to happen.

HipHopCanada: Your sister Baby Grhyme killed her performance in PUSH. Respect to you for always putting family on. Do you have any more collaborations with BG in the works?

K: Yeah, she did her thing for real she’s built for this! Yeah, many collaborations we just keeping it on the hush for now. I don’t say much until it’s time for the people to know what’s up.

HipHopCanada: Five years from now when you look back, what memory about PUSH will standout the most?

K: Five years from now, when I’ve directed a hit movie on Netflix and Amazon Prime, I will remember the hours and sleepless nights put into making PUSH. The whole thing was an experience to remember.

 
Scene from PUSH

Scene from PUSH

HipHopCanada: Can you speak on other projects Goldmine Media 1 has lined up for 2020?

K: Right now all I will say is we’re working on PUSH, that’s where the energy is at right now.

HipHopCanada: Which music video that you directed are you most proud of?

K: One of my favorite videos is the Swagger Rite video “Chains On My Neck” that we did in L.A. That was a vibe! The fact that I can still travel after all I’ve been though, I’m happy about that for sure. I also have two videos with Bizz Loc that surpassed one million views so I gotta be happy about that.

HipHopCanada: Do you have any plans to release anymore of your own music?

K: That’s the question everyone is asking… I have a record “Up The Revenue” that is featured in PUSH. The music video will be a movie soundtrack style video coming out ASAP and will using it to promote the movie. Also, still have a few other records that will be out this year.

 
Poster for PUSH short film

Official PUSH Poster


Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada


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Jesse founded HipHopCanada.com in 1999 and is currently the organization's Co-President & Editor-in-Chief.

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