This film illuminates brilliant kids who defy the stereotypes and explains why we need to tell their stories.
Why am I making this film?
When we talk about television and its impact on kids and teens we focus on violence, explicit language, and sexual content. These things are important, but they aren't the whole story. For children of color, especially African-American/Black kids and teens there is the problem of narrow representation or no representation at all. So many of our children never see themselves reflected on screen. They go through their entire childhood looking but never finding themselves in the adventuresome hero, the curious explorer or the wondrous prodigy.
A Question of Authenticity-
What does "authentic" blackness look like? Is there such a thing? I want to talk about freeing children. Freeing them to grow in and express their culture their way. Having broader representations of black kids and teens means that for the kid who likes comic books, their experience is validated right alongside the kid who likes novels. For the kid who wants to be a basketball player, their experience is validated right alongside the kid who wants to compete in Olympic Speed Skating. For the kid who loves Jazz, their experience is validated right alongside the kid who likes Hip Hop. Kids should be proud of their Black/African American heritage and feel comfortable expressing that pride in a way that resonates with them.
Brown skin and Black History Month:
Is it enough to toss a character with brown skin into the mix and call it representative? During February, networks make an effort to include movies or shows with a predominantly black cast. Very few of these networks focus on programming for kids and teens. For those that do focus on kids‘ programming the black characters are either side-kicks or lacking in complexity. I want to talk about that. I want to talk about why it’s important to produce more stories, bigger stories, imaginative stories for our children. Because, we learn through story. Television and movies are simply, stories of us. It is by seeing fear that we learn to be brave. It is by seeing discovery that we learn the importance of curiosity. It is by seeing hate that we learn what love looks like and by seeing love we learn of the rewards that come with empathy. If movies and television can impact the way a child ultimately defines love, can they not also teach that child what it means to be black? For better or for worse as a child grows their identity is still forming and television is one of the forces which shapes that identity.
Did you know? A revisit of Kenneth and Mamie Clark’s doll test in 2010 rendered eerily similar results to the original research irrespective of the 70 year gap. The black children in the new experiment chose the white doll as the good, the pretty, the preferable doll. They chose the black doll as the bad doll and the ugly doll. Media generally and television in particular, has been slow to consider the social harm done to children when we keep their stories invisible or constricted.
I also think we need to talk about media literacy as educators and parents and why we must demand more, not because it’s fair. We need to demand more as an act of protection and an effort to cultivate a larger imagination in our children. Richness and diversity isn’t just brown skin. Richness and diversity means stories in the country and stories in space. Stories of treasure hunts and stories of betrayal. Stories of exploration, accomplishment, uncertainty, and triumph. With this film I’d like to talk about representation and introduce you to black kids from around the country doing amazing things. The black experience is not a monolithic experience and neither is childhood. The goal of this film is not to show you great kids who are the exception to the rule. My goal is to explode the notion that there is a rule.
How will your donation be used?
Funds raised during this campaign will be used for Production as well as Post Production items including:
- Travel expenses
- Speaker honorarium
- motion graphics and visual effects
- sound design and audio mix
How Far Along is Hidden Brilliance?
The pre-production phase is now complete. Research, Visual Design, and Interviewee/Expert subjects have been identified.
When Will This Documentary Be Complete?
My goal is to complete Hidden Brilliance by December 2012. A successful fundraising drive here on Kickstarter will make this is an achievable goal.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $15,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on June 22, 2012.
May 8, 2012 - Jun 22, 2012 (45 days)
Pledge $5 or more
My pure and humble gratitude for helping me bring this film to the screen. You are a superstar in my eyes. Seriously. ;-} You'll also be listed on the "Thank You" page of the film website.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $10 or more
My gratitude, a listing on the "Thank You" page, AND a downloadable copy of an original Photo/Poster.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
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As always, my gratitude. You'll also receive all gifts listed above as well as a DVD copy of my documentary "Good Hair" and Other Dubious Distinctions.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
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My gratitude. The gifts above as well as a large format movie poster for the film signed by the Director. Hang it on your wall and brag to folks that you helped make this move happen! It's true!Estimated delivery: Jul 2012
Pledge $100 or more
My goodness. For you my friend, all the gifts above (my gratitude, a listing on the "Thank You" page, a downloadable image, a copy of "Good Hair" and Other Dubious Distinctions, and a signed poster) as well as a Special Edition hard copy of the finished film.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $200 or more
How generous you are. For you all the gifts above as well as lunch in Chicago with the Director. If you won't be in the city, I'll treat you to a meal at your favorite restaurant in your hometown.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
Associate Producer! For you, lunch, artwork, gratitude, DVDs AND a listing in the film as an Associate Director as well as a listing on IMDB.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
Beautiful soul or wonderful organization, you've made it to Executive Producer status. You will be listed as such at the beginning and end of the film credits. You will also receive all the gifts above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
Special thanks on the "This film was made possible by generous donations from..." screen. This screen will appear before the beginning of the film. You or your organization will also be listed as an Executive Director and receive two tickets to any film festival we screen at... Plus, of course, all other gifts above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012