"African-American Independent Cinema Is Struggling"
--Spike LeeMy 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.
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 www.youtube.com/reelblack
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400 clips and there are dozens more interviews with people like Kevin Hart, Julie Dash and Haile Gerima that remain unpublished in the archive.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.
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 HelpI 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.