Black Film Now

The first feature-length documentary exploring the current state of African-American film, featuring interviews from the Reelblack TV archive.
Reelblack Presents
Email Verified
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
United States
1 Team Member

Less than 3 days left. If we get over $8,000, we can make one heckuva movie.  Regardless, everyone will get their perks and we will have a premiere.

Would you show your support by making our logo your avatar for the remainder of the campaign? Thank you!  --Mike D.

"African-American Independent Cinema Is Struggling" 

                                                                              --Spike Lee

My name is Michael Dennis and I have been making and programming films since 1994.  I am a graduate of both NYU and the American Film Institute and, since 2003, I have been the driving force behind Reelblack.  We make African-American film and promote those made by others through a screening series in Philadelphia and TV show on Youtube called Reelblack TV.
Some Facts:
Did you know that more Black film has been made in the past 20 years than in the previous 80 years combined? 
However, most universities that teach black film history rely on texts over 20 years old. Spike Lee's books about the making of his first five films are all out of print.
Did you know there are a whole generation of filmmakers of color who are harnessing the power of digital techology and internet distribution to create work that reaches their audiences unfiltered?
However, the most recent documentaries about about Black Film have centered on Blaxploitation and Nigerian Films. There is no feature-length work that documents the current landscape of African-American film.
We need a documentary to help us understand the struggle Black Filmmakers have gone through, the obstacles that exist today and what we must do to overcome them.  We cannot wait another decade for Ken Burns to tell this story.  It is time for BLACK FILM NOW.
Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Russ Parr, Ava DuVernay, Matthew Cherry, Terrence Nance, Rashaad Ernesto Green, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Kerry Washington, Hill Harper, Chris Rock, Nelson George, Bradford Young, Issa Rae, Kimberly Elise, Pete Chatmon, Alrick Brown, Angel Brown, Chinonye Chukwu and Dennis Dortch are some of the forces in the revolution that have shared their stories with us on Reelblack TV.  We'd like to interview more filmmakers and actors who have experienced the struggle firsthand and use the archival footage as a foundation while shaping a story that will engage and inspire filmmakers to come.  No longer do we have to wait for permission to have our stories told.  We've got the power to do it ourselves.  BLACK FILM NOW must be made.

What We Need & What You Get

We have dozens of interviews in the can that will form the foundation of BLACK FILM NOW.  You can view a sample of them on our Youtube Channel

We have posted over 400 clips and there are dozens more interviews with people like Kevin Hart, Julie Dash and Haile Gerima that remain unpublished in the archive. We'd like to prune down into a feature length project that can be absorbed in one sitting and take it to festivals, tour colleges and offer on DVD.

Once we're successful, we will make more projects centering on Black Film History for a variety of platforms.


The beauty of this Indiegogo campaign is if you fund this and we fail to reach goal, you'll still get your perks.  There's enough footage in the archive already to make a good movie.  Our goal is to make a great one.  The more money we raise, the more time we have to work on the project and shoot more interviews from people we have missed that have a unique perspective on what is happening now.

Your money will go towards:

  • Computer upgrades and camera rentals.
  • Labor: Camera Crew, Editors, Composer plus myself
  • Travel: We are based in Philly, with enough funds we can travel to interview others around the country that are doing big things.
  • Distribution and marketing: film festival entry fees, college tour and DVDs.

We've set up the perks in a way that it's like you're buying your ticket, DVD or coffee mug in advance.  For as low as $25 you can have your name in the credits and get a ticket to the Philly Premiere. Other perks include limited edition artwork, IMDB credits, invites to festival premieres and a chance to come with us on location while we film one of our interviews.

The Impact

We matter.  Our stories matter.  For a long time, Hollywood has influenced the way we think and feel about ourselves because they controlled the images.  Now we have control of them, we have to record our history.

Many of the challenges Black artists face are not new, we just don't know the stories.  Collecting the wisdom of those who went before can only help to inspire future generations to excel.


Other Ways You Can Help

I know not everyone is able to donate, but if you've gotten this far in reading this, it probably means you are as passionate as I am about seeing this film manifest.
Please encourage people to check out this page, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and become a fan or friend on Facebook.
You can also be a part of our viral team by making our logo your social media avatar  and by re-tweeting and sharing our facebook posts.  Email me at info@reelblack for details.
Here is a sample post you can cut and paste into a twitter or facebook post:
@Reelblack Many hurdles have been crossed since @SpikeLee kicked in the door.  We need #BLACKFILMNOW


Find This Campaign On
raised by 215 people in 1 month
38% funded
No time left
$25,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on March 10, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    A Virtual Hug

    We sincerely appreciate your contribution. We will send you a "virtual hug" by our cameraman/producer Craig Carpenter and a #BLACKFILMNOW "shout out" on our facebook page.

    4 claimed
  • $10USD
    Thank You In Credits

    You will get a "virtual hug" plus your name listed in the Thank You section of our end credit roll.

    39 claimed
  • $25USD
    A Ticket To the Premiere

    You will receive a thank you in the end credits/ shout out on our facebook page, a virtual hug plus 1 free ticket to our Philadelphia Premiere (transportation not provided).

    76 claimed
  • $50USD
    Signed DVD or Digital download

    You will receive thank you in the end credits/facebook page, virtual hug plus a DVD of the film signed by the director or a digital download of the film when it becomes available and a mini poster for the film

    38 claimed
  • $100USD
    Reelblack Super Pack

    You will receive a thank you in end credits/facebook page, virtual hug and signed DVD or download, a special DVD Box Set of 4 films by Mike D. plus "I Support Black Film Now" boss coffee mug.

    23 claimed
  • $250USD
    AFFRM DVD Collection

    Everything in the $100 package plus collection of three films originally released by the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (I Will Follow, Kinyarwanda and Restless City) signed by their respective directors.

    5 claimed
  • $500USD
    Silk Screened Print ++

    Everything in the $250 package plus a limited edition numbered silk screened art print edition of our Black Film Now poster and your name listed in the Special Thanks section of the end credits.

    0 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Associate Producer

    You will receive Associate Producer credit in the the credits of the film and on and all of the above

    0 claimed
  • $2,500USD
    Key Grip

    You will receive all of the perks plus an honorary Key Grip credit on the film and on plus VIP tickets to Philadelphia Premiere and Film Festival World Premiere and an opportunity to be on set during one of our interviews in NYC (transportation not included).

    0 out of 1 claimed
  • $7,500USD

    You will receive all of the perks plus Co-Producer credit on the film, poster and on and an opportunity to be on set during one of our interviews in NYC, LA or ATL (transportation not included).

    0 out of 3 claimed
  • $20,000USD
    Executive Producer

    All of the perks plus Executive Producer credit on the film, poster and plus VIP invites to all film screenings and premieres (transportation not included).

    0 out of 1 claimed
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