Hello Wonderful Community of Mine,
It's been quite some time (a little under a year in fact) since my last update about the documentary that you all so passionately supported. Many of you have checked in about the film's progress. Others have lent support in a myriad of ways. And then there were some who just wondered what in the world was going on with the film. Well, to address some of your inquiries, over the past two years since we successfully launched this campaign, we've been on quite a roller coaster ride.
To save you the boring details, I've spent the year, applying for funding, securing top notch producers, researching the subject matter, participating in a fellowship at the United Nations in Geneva as well as Firelight Media's Producer's Lab Retreat for emerging filmmakers and working on a sample that will allow me to secure support needed to complete this film. I've faced many challenges and disappointments and learned more than I could have ever imagined about documentary filmmaking. The biggest lesson, perhaps is that good films not only take money but they take tons of patience, tenacity and time. There was a moment or two that I felt discouraged However, the recent wave of serendipitous events are evident that potentially powerful moments, happen exactly when they're supposed to. It's all a process. That said, I couldn't wait to share a few bits of incredible news with you! So, without further ado...
(insert drumroll please)
WORKING TITLE: The new working title of the film is The Black Dutchman. For those of you who have closely followed events in the Netherlands, you are aware of the vast changes that are happening nationwide related to race, Black people and Black representation. The film has morphed into something much broader than Zwarte Piet, which is only a small aspect of a much larger problem in Dutch society and this new title reflects this reality.
The NEW A-TEAM: I've brought on three heavy hitters to the team - dream hampton as Executive Producer, Alexandra McDougald and Numa Perrier as Producers. dream needs no introduction (but just in case, check out her website at dreamhampton.com). Alex, is an industry veteran, who produced Alive Inside, a 2014 Sundance award winning film and was the force behind Haile Gerima's distribution for Teza. Numa Perrier (Black & Sexy TV amongst other things), is also an award winning filmmaker and artist. The rest of the production team - Shawn Peters, Raoul Popma and Bouba Dola are still on board and are as excited about completing this film as I am.
INTERNATIONAL SNEAK PEEK: Perhaps the most exciting news of all is that a sample of The Black Dutchman will screen as part of the ReSignifications: European Blackamoors, Africana Re‐Stagings exhibition, curated by Dr. Awam Akpa, in conjunction with NYU's Black Portraiture[s] Symposium! The 6 minute work in progress will be on view at both Museo Stefano Bardini and at Galleria Biagiotti in Florence, Italy. Inclusion in this show is a huge honor and such an incredible opportunity for the film. I'll be exhibiting alongside an internationally renowned line up of painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers and choreographers including one of my mentors, Dr. Deborah Willis, founder of the symposium and several of my colleagues and friends. If you're traveling to Italy for any reason, please visit the exhibit. I'll also be moderating a panel titled Habitual Linesteppers: Constructing Blackness Beyond the Imagination featuring Ja'Tovia Gary, Dr. Allison Janae Hamilton, Charl Landvreugd, Fahamu Pecou and Numa Perrier. Come check us out. The exhibition will be on view May 29 through August 29, 2015. I won't be sharing it for public consumption online yet but you'll be the first people to get notified when I do.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Special Thanks to everyone for your positivity and collective commitment to seeing this project through to its completion. So many people have been working in small and large ways to make this happen - everything from contributing to financing trips, contributing to historical and contemporary research, editing the work sample, doing research, assisting with our social media platform, sharing constructive feedback and sending grant opportunities my way. There's no way possible that this could be done without any of you. I am scheduled to travel back to the Netherlands later this year with hopes to complete post-production in 2016. Stay tuned for more updates and stay engaged on our facebook page. Lastly, to the Black Dutch community and non-Black allies and comrades in the Netherlands, I SALUTE YOU for all that you've done and all that you continue to do, to change society one confrontation at a time. Black Lives Matter Everywhere.
Director + Producer
The Black Dutchman #theblackdutchman