Following in the footsteps of 2009's seven-part HBO series Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voices, this all-new 60-minute special from Russell Simmons and Stan Lathan captures the excitement and poetry of the Brave New Voices 2010 National Slam team championships from LA. A five-day festival that includes poetry workshops, intimate slams and stage performances, this year's Brave New Voices event culminated in the Grand Slam Finals between four teams - from Denver (CO), Albuquerque (NM), the Bay Area (CA) and New York City (NY) - all competing in front of a raucous audience at the Saban Theatre in LA.
HBO's Brave New Voices features behind-the-scenes footage of performers as they arrive in LA, bond with fellow poets, compete in preliminary rounds, and gather to watch the Grand Slam Finals, hosted by rap superstar Common and actress Rosario Dawson.
In addition to the two hosts, Brave New Voices 2010 features a finals judging panel consisting of Beau Sia (of Def Poetry Jam fame), Mayda del Valle (also from Def Poetry Jam), Talib Kweli (rap artist and founder of Blacksmith Records), actress Sanaa Lathan, and illusionist/actor Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller). After each performance in the four rounds of the Finals (teams can elect as many as five or as few as one performer to deliver a poem), the judges award points ranging from 0 to 10, with low and high scores thrown out.
The team that gets the most final points gets crowned the Brave New Voices team champion of 2010.