DENTON, TX — While the Academy is still trying to rewrite a new ending to its drama, Diversity Debacle; one North Texas organization is proving film isn’t one dimensional.
“Why not give filmmakers, right now, who are out there that have fabulous content, an opportunity to show that in the City of Denton,” Mesha George told NewsFix. George is the co-creator of the Denton Black Film Festival.
The festival just wrapped its second season of showcasing indie films that feature the talents of black filmmakers and black actors.
“Educate, entertain and inspire – -we want people to get all three of those things,” George said of the festival.
It’s no secret minority talent is under-represented in the movies; but festivals like the one in Denton, hope to change the public’s perception.
“We also wanted to give the community an opportunity to learn more about us, as a people, as opposed to just the popular images that are promoted through mainstream entertainment.”
The three-day long event featured over two dozen films, art, music and poetry. It was a time to celebrate diversity, culture and community.
The festival also acknowledged an influential and inspirational actress, Irma P. Hall. Known for her role in films Soul Food, and most recently Chi-Raq. Hall was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Also over the weekend, Nate Parker’s powerful and provocative film, Birth of a Nation, debuted to critical acclaim.
His film won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury and Audience award for drama. The movie is based on the historical figure, Nat Tuner, who led one of the most notable slave rebellions in the U.S..
The film’s success also had Netflix willing to pay a reported $20-million to distribute the movie. But, Parker turned down the offer, opting instead for a larger theatrical release, to reach a wide audience.
What’s more, there’s talk of showing the film to high school and college students.
Note to Hollywood: that’s what you call diversity.