Ever wonder why movies like, Love Jones, The Best Man, Brown Sugar and other similar films are rarely found in theaters? Well, the answer is complex and is often a result of racism, but there are a couple of obvious ways that we can reverse this disparity so that our stories are shown on the big screen too.
Last Friday, I attended an interesting panel discussion about the state of black women in Hollywood hosted by Essence during the Urbanworld Film Festival here in NYC. The panel consisted of famed TV producer Suzanne de Passe (Zane: The Sex Chronicles, Sister, Sister, etc.), director/writer Gina Prince-Bythewood (Secret Life of Bees, Love & Basketball, etc.), actress Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) and SVP, Production for Fox Searchlight Zola Mashariki (Notorious B.I.G). They spoke about the difficulties of breaking into the world of film for African-Americans, particularly African-American women, as well as solutions that could possibly make a difference.
From left, Suzanne De Passe, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Sophie Okonedo.
According to these esteemed panelists, the following two actions can help us get quality movies that we want to see in the theaters:
*Stop buying boot-legged DVDs!!
*Support films that star a predominately ethnic cast during the opening weekend!!
So go out and see the Secret Life of Bees starring, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys when it comes out in theaters on October 17th. Click here to view the trailer.
If we support films featuring us BGs and guys, perhaps more will be made for all of us to enjoy!
What is your favorite film starring an African-American cast? What are your thoughts on this subject? Are you guilty of partaking in movie piracy? Come on, BGG won't tell on you! :-)