Will this Oscar week never end? Next Sunday is looking more and more grim with each new study revealing how sexist and racist Hollywood is. The question I’m constantly posing to myself is what can I do about? Step one is creating my own content if I don’t like what I see. We all need to, as the one and only Best Director winner Kathryn Bigelow said, “stop blaming the mirror”. However, I don’t want to just create in a vacuum. I also love supporting other filmmakers. Perhaps the odds are stacked against those outside of the old white boy’s club, but so what?
My favorite film blog, Shadow and Act, is tipping the scales in favor of young filmmakers of the African Diaspora. Check it out HERE:
“Inspired by the popular Black Cinema blog of the same name, the Shadow and Act Digital Filmmaker Showcase is a year long competition of short films from around the globe. Participating films must have themes that reflect the African Diaspora experience.”
Round 3 of the challenge ends on Friday, July 13th and voting is open to anyone. If you happen to be sick and tired of all the depressing statistics about the state of today’s film industry, here’s a chance for you to voice your support for something better. The showcase has 6 rounds and each winner of the individual rounds wins a cash award of $1,000. Those finalists then get to compete in the final round for a $4,000 grand prize. The rules say you can only vote once but you can select multiple films on your ballot. The site is currently hosting 30 short films.
I’ve accepted that the whitewashing and glass ceiling of Hollywood will take a while to dismantle. The problems didn’t arise overnight, but have been engrained in the institution long before my generation. However, opportunities like the Shadow and Act Digital Filmmaker Showcase, offer a chance for each of us to promote stories about people of color outside the confines of small-minded studio systems. Many of the films have garnered success on the festival circuit (MEN IN LOVE by Keith Davis and CLOSE by Tahir Jetter) and others feature the early work of today’s breakout stars/directors (Adepero Oduye and Rashaad Ernesto Green). Who knows what impact a click of a mouse might have? You could help a fellow indie get their big break with an offer to turn their project into a feature or even just start-up cash to make their next short film.