Rapper Ice-T and film maker PAUL “PAULIE PAUL” ELIACIN hope their film UP IN HARLEM will inspire a new generation of independently funded movies.

The movie - which hit stores on Tuesday (22JUN04) on DVD - is about an ambitious teenage girl whose college scholarship dreams are threatened by a charming Harlem hustler posing as a Wall Street worker.

Eliacin paid for the film - after numerous African American movie-makers refused to help him - and convinced Ice to star in it for free, reports music website ALLHIPHOP.COM.

Ice-T explains, "If you have 100 million, I want my paper. If you ain’t got nothing, then I ain’t gonna ask you for nothing. If I can work a day and I can make X amount of dollars and you want a day, you got to find a day I’m not doing nothing."

Eliacin turned to movies after he was imprisoned for accidentally shooting a man, he explains, "I lost most of my life (in jail). So I said, 'What I'm going to do is pursue my dream of being an actor.' I got involved in STRAIGHT OUT OF BROOKLYN.

"I did everything I could to learn about film. After that I branched out and did UP IN HARLEM. When people sit down for Ice-T’s directorial debut, I want to have people feeling it."

25/06/2004 14:03