$19,000 is the amount we need to screen FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN in New York City. Why is screening in New York City so important? Well, for independent filmmakers and their films… playing for one-week at a Manhattan theatre is like a band playing Madison Square Garden for the first time, or an artist having their work exhibited at the Met or an actor making their Broadway debut. It is the one way to make sure that the art you create and are trying to bring to the world will last past you and the efforts you took in making it. If you can help us raise $19,000, we will be able to rent a movie theater in Manhattan for one-week, which will facilitate a New York Times Review and help our film garner the necessary attention from the U.S. and World media. Our film has connected with Audiences across political aisles and demographics at our previous screenings. Our screening FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN in New York City will help ensure that the issues of Politics, Race, Class and History presented in it will be discussed as part of this Election.
If we don’t raise the full amount of $19,000 within 30 days, Kickstarter will return all pledged money to the backers and NOTHING will go to FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN. Your monetary support will not be wasted. The breakdown of how we will use the $19,000 is below...
Theater Rental $12,000
Amazon Fees 850
Kickstarter Fees 950
Publicist Services 1,700
Shipping of Rewards 500 to Backers Backers Rewards Fulfillment 3,000 Total $19,000
Please "Back" our independent film project and help us reach the necessary target within this 30-day period. Your gracious support will make a difference. Again, if we don't raise the entire amount - we don't get to screen our film in New York City - and you will receive your money back.
Should where one lives determine if one Party ignores their vote and the other Party takes it for granted?
This is the documentary film that neither Party wants you and many others to see. Filmed and edited over a six-year period, FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN examines why there are so few Black Republicans and how this affects the U.S. political system for Everyone. From the Civil War to the Great Depression, the GOP was the Party for many African-Americans, but today, the Republican Party is considered the Party of Avoiding Urban Areas and many are increasingly viewing the Democratic Party as being the Party of Benign Indifference. Today, many of these Urban areas are now no longer considered competitive parts of America’s electoral map.
Beginning in his hometown of Trenton, NJ, filmmaker Kevin Williams speaks with BOTH Democrats and Republicans while journeying over four years and two Presidential Elections to find out if the Two-Party Political System is failing his city and the country. In taking a self-critical look at his own Republican Party, Williams explores the GOP’s efforts in urban areas versus the suburbs, the Democratic Party's success in retaining the African-American vote and the experiences of Black Republicans with Democrats and their own Party. During this journey, Williams speaks with scholars such as Princeton University Professors Cornel West and Howard Taylor; political leaders like former Maryland Lieutenant Governor and Republican Party Chairman, Michael Steele and previous RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman; former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman; Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Jim Gilmore and John McCain; Conservative thinkers such as Newt Gingrich, Grover Norquist and Ann Coulter; and Commentators Tavis Smiley and Michelle Malkin, amongst others. Also interviewed is the first and last Black Republican Senator popularly elected since Reconstruction, former Senator Edward Brooke of Massachusetts.
Director’s Statement from Kevin Williams: Before I started shooting, I was just a voter wondering why things weren’t getting better after each election. Picking up my camera changed everything for me. My intention with this film is to find out if our political system supports the decaying of Urban America, what that means and what if anything can be done about it. Journeying across the country and spending time with an important, but misunderstood segment of our society -Black Republicans, revealed a reality and an experience few will ever see. As race, politics, human nature and history all clash in this film, I know that as the Director, I am only opening the book on this subject matter and its implications for America. Our screenings and Q&As around the country have shown us that our film has hit the mark and real conversations are starting among those of us the Parties forgot.
No, This Movie has been completely financed and now distributed by Kevin and Tamara Williams. In the true spirit of “Guerilla Filmmaking,” this film is our and ours alone. And we have all the bills and traffic tickets to prove it. Actually, we tried to find a Producer and Executive Producer, but no one we found would help us make a film that wasn’t propaganda or “agit-prop” for either Party’s benefit.
That kind of sucked, but we did have all the artistic freedom that we ever wanted. A non-partisan film about Black Republicans and the Two-Party System in Urban America… that should have been an easy sell, right?
No. But since we live in an African American dominated city, we do think that we need BOTH the Democratic and Republican Parties working and competing with each other to make cities and Urban areas like Trenton, NJ (where we live) better places to live. Other parties are good too, but the two biggies really run the show at this point. Most importantly, we need African Americans to push this for themselves and ultimately, us. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for urban areas and cities like Trenton to improve.
Because people like you, living in suburban areas are paying to maintain the institutional and generational poverty in our cities and urban environments everyday through their taxes. Plus, you’ll get a glimpse as to why the GOP Conventions look like the Winter Olympics, without the cool costumes… and you’ll maybe get an idea of who benefits from all that. One surprising hint… it ain’t the suburbs.
Well, to our knowledge there hasn’t even been one documentary about Black Republicans shown on the U.S. film festival circuit. Let alone getting theatrical distribution, being stolen and uploaded to Bit Torrent, available at your local video store or on pay cable. Or on Video On-Demand. Hmmm…
Our film offers great entertainment, value for your dollar, political intrigue, racial controversy, a cast of characters of the size that hasn't been seen since BEN-HUR and a world that you will likely never visit again, at least with a sane filmmaker holding the camera. But it will still be the feel good movie of the summer.
Maybe, but it’s pretty hard being the first movie on a topic. There isn’t a base of experience for the average movie viewer or the average filmmaker to build on. So as filmmakers, we wanted to tell as complete a story as possible. And with over 100 hours of footage to work with, we think we did.
When you’re covering a topic like this and what you thought would be a little film on local politics grows into a film on national politics and includes a Presidential Inauguration, a Congressional campaign, Hurricane Katrina… and folks like Professor Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Authors Ann Coulter and Michele Malkin, former U.S. Senator Edward Brooke, Christine Todd Whitman, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, former Republican National Committee Chairmen Ken Mehlman and Michael Steele… even Richard Nixon and Jackie Robinson. So, we have a lot to show people. (And edit from. Our original rough cut was over five hours. You should see what we cut!)
Funny you should ask. We had a White Female Producer from Brooklyn ask us the same thing. We made this film because we felt it was an important film topic that no one else had previously covered, outside of short news reports. We were bolstered in our position when many of the African Americans we interviewed, thanked us for taking this on. Living in Trenton, NJ, we were civically-active in our community long before we became politically-active, and then deciding to make this film.
To have so many people, from both sides of the aisle, encourage us to make and complete the film really inspired us. Particularly, during some of the tough times that came with making and editing a documentary like this. As long as these folks and the challenges facing Urban America are relevant, we think FEAR OF A BLACK REPUBLICAN will be relevant.
The title of our film is a nod to the great rap group from the 1980s and 90s, PUBLIC ENEMY. Their music was very powerful as they used political ideals, urban stories and tell it like it is perspective to form their sound and lyrics. While quite controversial during this time period, P.E. never backed down from what they believed, right or wrong. You don’t have to agree with them 100% to enjoy and be moved by their music.
Being politically-conscious artists as much as U2, if not more so, P.E. did much to bring Urban issues to light in a time when the media exploited Urban Americans and the nation’s attention was elsewhere. Public Enemy’s seminal album, FEAR OF A BLACK PLANET, is one which stands the test of time and still has a lot of truth cutting through each song. Whether Chuck D., Flavor Flav, Terminator X or the other members approve or not, we tip our hat to them and thank them for bringing Urban Issues to the forefront. Hopefully, our film will do some of that, too. And in case you are wondering - yes, we did want to use a P.E. tune, “Yo! Bum Rush The Show!” in the movie, but there wasn’t enough change under the couch cushions or in our piggy bank this time.
We did get the memo and the one on America being “post-racial.” However, none of this is addressing the serious and pressing concerns of African American dominated Urban communities across America. Nor is it addressing issues of the Republican Party ignoring us and our communities. We were hopeful with the Chairmanship of Michael Steele... However, change can be very tough. Once again, the state and local parties will need to get on board for real changes to be made.
Change doesn't happen overnight or even in one election, or two. While the U.S. is moving forward socially, politically...
5 Autographed DVDs, 1 Movie T-shirt, Personal Thank you letter from the Filmmakers + 4 Tickets to any Public Screening (including opening night of the NYC run). Thank you in our NYC Premiere program, Autographed 12x18 Poster, listing in Thank You section of our website.
Personal Skype Q&A with Director & Producer + 5 autographed DVDs, 1 Movie T-shirt, Personal Thank you letter from the Filmmakers, 4 Tickets to any Public Screening (including opening night of the NYC run). Thank you in our NYC Premiere program, Autographed 12x18 Poster, listing in Thank You section of our website.
Dinner for 2 with the Director & Producer in NYC/Philadelphia/or NJ, an Autographed 27x41 (Theater-size) poster + 5 autographed DVDs, 1 Movie T-shirt, Personal Thank you letter from the Filmmakers, 4 Tickets to any Public Screening (including opening night of the NYC run). Thank you in our NYC Premiere program, Autographed DVD and 12x18 Poster, listing in Thank You section of our website.
Personal Thank You video on You Tube + Dinner for 2 with the Director & Producer in NYC/Philadelphia/or NJ, 5 autographed DVDs, 1 Movie T-shirt, Personal Thank you letter from the Filmmakers, 4 Tickets to any Public Screening (including opening night of the NYC run). Thank you in our NYC Premiere program, Autographed DVD and 12x18 Poster, listing in Thank You section of our website.
SPECIAL SCREENING: Private (or Public) Screening license and Q &A with the Director anywhere in the Continental U.S., (Wasilla, Alaska or Maui are negotiable). Thank you credit on our next film. + Personal Thank You video on You Tube, Dinner for 2 with the Director & Producer (in conjunction with the scheduled screening), 5 autographed DVDs, 2 Movie T-shirts, Personal Thank you letter from the Filmmakers, 4 Tickets to any Public Screening (including opening night of the NYC run). Thank you in our NYC Premiere program, Autographed DVD and 12x18 Poster, listing in Thank You section of our website.