Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad Watch First Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Watch First Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap Shonda Rhimes Night Is a Big Success for ABC. 'How to Get Away With Murder" Draws 14 Million Viewers Total Shonda Rhimes Night Is a Big Success for ABC. 'How to Get Away With Murder" Draws 14 Million Viewers Total 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

The Black Film Festival vs Black Filmmaker Conversation...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 5, 2012 at 11:57AM

Let me first say that, I don't have any answers to this folks; I routinely find myself in the middle of conversations (especially around this time of the year, when the Sundance Film Festival unveils its lineup) that center on why there isn't a black film festival in the USA that matches Sundance's significance/relevance on the national film stage.
11
Eric Deggans

Let me first say that, I don't have any answers to this folks; I routinely find myself in the middle of conversations (especially around this time of the year, when the Sundance Film Festival unveils its lineup) that center on why there isn't a black film festival in the USA that matches Sundance's significance/relevance on the national film stage.

On one side of the argument, you have film festival directors who wonder why black filmmakers (specifically those who overlook black film festivals in favor of festivals like Sundance) don't hold black film festivals in a similar high regard; and on the other side of the argument, you have black filmmakers who say that, essentially, they don't feel that they'll get what they hope/want/need from black film festivals - whether it's the notoriety that comes from being an *Official Selection* of a Sundance for example, or attention from distributors, and more. And in response to that, festival directors say, we can't become what you want us to become, if black filmmakers overlook us and send their films to non-black-specific film festivals (especially those filmmakers with what we'd call *quality* work; no offense to any filmmakers; I don't make the rules or define what is generally considered *quality*). And in response to that, filmmakers say, I want to make sure my film is given the best possible chance to succeed, and getting into a festival like Sundance, makes that journey a bit easier, for a number of reasons - reasons that I think generate even more questions.

And in response to that, festival directors say...

And so on, and so forth, round and round we go.

I'm simplifying what I think is a much more complex debate (for example, there's the importance of premieres to some film festivals which influences how filmmakers map out their paths; but then it brings us back to the question of why certain film festivals are held in higher regard than others).

But this essentially sums it all up.

By the way, let me also add that this is not a conversation that EVERY black film festival or EVERY black filmmaker is having. Obviously black film festivals exist, which means there are black filmmakers who are targetting black film festivals with their films. Not every black film festival wants to be Sundance, and not every black filmmaker has Sundance dreams.

I just want to be clear that there are those, on either side, who are content with the status quo, have found their niche, are making it work for them, and aren't distressed with the state of things.

However, there are clearly those on both sides who do find the status quo problematic, and, each year, as I noted earlier, in my travels, I find myself in conversations that suggest just that.

And as I also said, I really don't have any easy answers, except to provide a space where those who are interested (on both sides) can have a conversation, which is what I'm doing right now.

And I hope that can happen constructively. 


Shadow & ActNewsletter