Magic Johnson just launched the new ASPiRE network along with Comcast. ASPiRE will offer programming of interest to African-American families. Part of the line-up includes films by African-American Filmmakers.
Check out the entire press release by Target Market News detailing the African-American Filmmakers programming slot. Here is a clip: “ASPiRE, the new African-American television network from Magic Johnson
Enterprises, today announced its first original series, “ABFF Independent.” The
weekly two-hour show, hosted by actor Omari Hardwick (“Sparkle,” “Dark Blue,”)
will present the best independent shorts, feature films and documentaries from
emerging black artists, “ABFF Independent” will air Mondays at 8 p.m. (ET), with
repeat airings Monday at 11 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and
the following Monday at 2 p.m. The series will premiere on the network’s launch
date, Wednesday, June 27, with back-to-back episodes starting at 8 p.m. “
The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) offers funding for series, documentaries and online media relating to the black global experience. “Since 1991 NBPC has invested $7 million dollars in iconic documentary productions for public television; trained, mentored and supported a diverse array of producers who create content about contemporary black experiences; and emerged as a leader in the evolving next-media landscape through it’s annual New Media Institute: Africa Programs.”
Find out about grants and funding in the grants and funding category.
To purchase a download of the Funding Your Dream Documentary seminar, click here.
Comedians seem to be the supermodels of the millennium. They are hosting radio shows, presenting the news and even winning seats in congress. Recently, some comedians have even wandered into the realm of documentary production. And I don’t mean documentaries about themselves working as comedians. They are producing documentaries tackling serious subjects.
In 2008, Bill Maher produced Religulous, a documentary starring himself travelling around the world asking people about their religious views in an effort to understand why people believe in a higher power. He clearly had an agenda: prove through comedy that people who believe in God are stupid. While the movie was funny and thought provoking, his obvious bias was sometimes distracting. Michael Moore is also no fan of objective film-making. And while I enjoy his movies as well, I don’t always trust so-called facts presented in such a staunch one-sided view. You can view the Religulous trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdkyLrDpaUg.
Chris Rock’s soon to be released Good Hair, takes a look at black women’s quest for straight , long hair and the internationally multi-billion dollar industry that supports it. The movie will hit theaters in about a week but the trailer has already created a national discussion about African-American hair. Perhaps Rock’s appearance on Oprah had something to do with it. At any rate, the subject matter is both touchy and niche specific – two adjectives that can often keep films from being made. Rock’s daughter motivated him to make the documentary when she called a friend’s hair “good.” As a black American with natural hair, I can only hope Rock’s documentary is eye-opening and insightful and doesn’t just go for the cheap laugh. Take a look at the trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m-4qxz08So.
I hope more comedians make documentaries. It could be good for the genre. My thinking is, if the big name stars bring people out to theaters to see one documentary, perhaps those same people will come back to see more. Perhaps they will watch different types of documentaries.