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Would you trade Freedom for Security?

Babylon Central is the debut cinematic release from ESL Music, written and directed by Eric Hilton from Thievery Corporation.

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Director Interview


Sebastian James

Sebastian James is a courier by day...

And DJ by Night.

When he fails to deliver an important package for his boss, public relations guru Julian Gold, Seb finds himself an unwitting participant in an economic power-play with a Saudi Prince as the Saudi government attempts to divest from the US dollar. As Seb begins to fall for the Prince’s daughter, his friends are dragged into the conflict. Throughout his struggle, the dark powers that operate in Washington, DC (modern-day Babylon) are revealed, and the Achilles heel of the US Empire is exposed.


Joe Steger

Joe Steger

Sebastian James

Joe Steger is a 26 year-old actor starring in his first feature role as lead character Sebastian James. Joe grew up in the mid-west and has spent the last twelve years in the Washington DC area. Joe has spent most of his professional career managing bars, restaurants and nightclubs, and currently can be found on the DC waterfront at Cabanas Latin Bistro.

W. Ellington Felton

W. Ellington Felton


W. Ellington Felton is a modern day renaissance man, or as Complex Magazine dubbed him, “the hip-hop Sammy Davis, Jr.” The son of jazz musician Hilton Felton, ‘Dub El’ is a native Washingtonian who has music and performance in his blood. In addition to his own creative musical efforts, Dub El studied theater at the Carnegie Melon University Theater Conservatory.

Neda Zahraie

Neda Zahraie


Neda Zahraie lives in Washington DC, where she paints, sings, and writes - frequently subjecting her friends to late night poetry readings and quietly awaiting the unity of the working and oppressed peoples against advanced industrial capitalism and its war machine. She has a B.A. in English literature, admires hummingbirds, and is one third of the D.C.-based electronic music production/promotion group Stranger Than Paradise.

David Covington

David Covington


David Covington is a freelance actor, dancer, and producer. An accomplished stage actor, Mr. Covington has appeared in stage performances Off-Broadway, on National Tours, and regionally, including performances at the Kennedy Center and the historic Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. Also a well-known tap dancer, Mr. Covington began his performance career tapping across the globe with the internationally acclaimed company of TAP DOGS. Mr. Covington is a graduate of American University.

Reid Hill

Reid Hill

Julian Gold

Reid has been involved in Radio/TV/Film since 1968. Has been in upper level management with numerous Marketing firms in Baltimore/Washington area. Since 1992 has been a full-time, professional actor working in Feature Films, National TV and National print campaigns. Reid lives just outside Baltimore with his wife Mary and dog Grady.

Amr Mounib

Amr Mounib

Prince Wahleed

Amr Mounib is a man of many talents. Practicing photography since the age of 13, he earned his degree in Communications and Visual Media from The American University in Washington D.C. where he won several awards for his work. After serving in the US Navy, he spent time in Europe before returning to Washington, DC and finally retracing his roots to Cairo after 35 years of absence. He has a love for nature, the environment, and the sociology behind human temperament. http://www.amrfoto.com

Eric Hilton

Eric Hilton

Director / Writer / Producer

Eric has been exploring his creative passions for more than fifteen years as half of the International recording duo Thievery Corporation, and as co-founder of ESL Music, an independent record label based in Washington, DC. He is also a partner in a restaurant group that owns the Eighteenth Street Lounge nightclub, where he sometimes can be found at the DJ controls. This is his first film project and first time as Director. Eric is a graduate of the University of Maryland and lives with his wife in Washington, DC.

Phillip Hawken

Philip Hawken

Producer / Writer

Phil has been an entrepreneur throughout his professional career working for several technology companies and consulting firms before arriving at ESL Music to serve as CFO and Director of Business Operations. Phil has written several screenplays and two fiction novels and is a co-writer of this script with Eric Hilton. This is his first film project and first time as Producer. Phil is a graduate of Syracuse University and lives in Falls Church, VA with his wife, daughter, and son.

Sam Steward

Sam Steward


Sam brought over 45 films worth of experience to the project, with specialties ranging from wardrobe assistance to set design to work behind the camera. As a professional film consultant with his own company, Sam has worked with musicians, major studios and independent productions on a variety of projects. This project marks Sam’s first project as a Producer.

Robin Bell

Robin Bell

Director of Photography / Editor

Robin’s career behind the camera and at the controls of the editing booth has taken him around the world shooting documentaries and social justice films. He is the owner of his own company, Bell Visuals, and is currently a professor at the Corcoran School in Washington, DC.

Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett

Audio Supervisor / Editor

After receiving a Masters in Acoustic Science from the Columbia School of Broadcasting in 2001 Chris has spent his time working as the sound and recording engineer for music group Thievery Corporation and their music label ESL Music. With over five critically acclaimed albums to his credit since he started in 2002, Chris as also worked on several smaller local films. He has engineered the sound for the documentary, Disarm, as well as the Operation Ceasefire DVD.


Babylon Central is a fictional story from the mind of Eric Hilton.

The story was developed into a screenplay by Hilton and Philip Hawken in 2006. With a completed script in hand and a small budget from ESL Music to shoot the film, a crew was assembled, actors interviewed and a shooting plan was put in place. Throughout the fall of 2006 and the first part of 2007, the team used HVX cameras, a borrowed truck full of rented gear, and called in every favor in hand to create the footage for this independent film.

Over a period of approximately 50 shooting days that included scorching heat in Dupont Circle to freezing temperatures during a nighttime outdoor pool-shoot, the cast and crew of Babylon Central used the backdrop of Washington, DC as another essential character to the film.

Upon the completion of principal shooting, over 3 terabytes of raw digital footage was then carefully reviewed and evaluated through a nearly two year editing process. Director of Photography, Robin Bell, worked with Hilton over countless long hours to edit and create the final cut of the film that is now Babylon Central.

As music has been the driving creative force behind Hilton’s career with Thievery Corporation and ESL Music, he also carefully selected 42 different songs for inclusion in the film score. Using the distribution network of ESL Music and its record label partners, the original film and motion-picture soundtrack is now proudly available through ESL Music and fine retailers everywhere.

On Location

Babylon Central Screenplay

Film Credits


Babylon Central - Soundtrack

ESL Music presents the original soundtrack to Babylon Central, a film by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation. A cinematic journey in and of itself, this collection of music is comprised of rare, vintage, out-of-print, and previously unreleased sonic gems selected by Eric Hilton himself. Grooving fluidly across genres, the Babylon Central soundtrack features must-have classics like "Leaving Babylon," a smokey reggae excursion by DC hardcore-punk luminaries Bad Brains, "Hang On In There," a socially charged funk & soul epic by 70’s crooner Mike James Kirkland, and "Coming From the Top," the massive horn punctuated breakbeat showstopper by Thievery Corporation!



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Washington, DC 20009



Press Contact

Brittany Pearce

Fresh and Clean Media


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