I met Regi Allen, the mastermind behind FunkTV and Fried Chicken Cinema back in April, at the New School conference here in NYC that I was a panelist for. We had a great conversation; Regi shared his enthusiasm for Shadow And Act, as well as his ideas for an alternate black TV network; we talked about our mutual belief in progress through collective action, and much more. His excitement for what could be, was infectious and contagious; And, as we discussed, a day or so after, Regi sent me, via email, a reminder of our conversation, as well as links to his brainchild, FunkTV, requesting that I take a look, offer commentary, and hopefully continue the conversation we started at the conference.
Upon receiving Regi's email, I flagged it to return to it at a later date. I receive a lot of emails daily, and that has proven to be somewhat of an effective method of tracking what's important, and what will need my attention at some point, even if it's not that specific day of receipt. However, the problem sometimes is that my list of flagged items grows rather rapidly, day after day, email after email, and thus, some items get buried in the deluge, with my plans to attend to them further postponed in favor of others. Which is what exactly happened to Regi's.
What can I say? I REALLY could use an assistant! Especially with all the growth and increased visibility the site has seen so far this year, partly brought on by the move to the indieWIRE Network.
All that to say that I really should have shared this with you 2 months ago, but I'm only now doing so, because I was reminded of it when THIS article on the Washington City Paper website showed up in my Google alerts; I have alerts set for a variety of black actors, actresses, filmmakers, etc, and in the Washington City Paper piece, a couple of those names were flagged, and so the article was immediately forwarded, thanks to Google, to my inbox, earlier today.
And so here we are... the article is essentially a profile of Allen and his creations, FunkTV and Fried Chicken Cinema, from thought, to his struggles in getting them picked up by a TV network, and more. It's a nice long read, and you're encouraged to take a look at it when you have a moment, so you can learn more about the man and his ideas - ideas I liked from the moments he shared them with me back in April.
I haven't been in touch with Regi since then, but I'll reach out to him again, and maybe have him on the podcast for a chat, instead of trying to summarize it all here. This is definitely a cat we all should know about.
For now, as I said, you're encouraged to read the article first to provide some context (HERE), then check out the websites for FunkTV HERE, and Fried Chicken Cinema HERE, and finally, watch the below preview of the latter below: