I started writing about The Black Cinema Challenge last summer. The challenge is inspired by an article in The Paris Review that quotes (I'm paraphrasing) Spike Lee questioning the validity of a Black Film Festival when, according to him, black Americans don't support mainstream black cinema. Clearly flawed logic on his part. Here are the rules:
  1. A black film is a film...
  2. Written by a black person
  3. Has a majority/main cast of black actors and actresses
  4. Is directed by a black person(s)
  5. This is very difficult (black screen writers and directors aren't as well know. I had to Google every single film). In order for a film to qualify for the Black Cinema Challenge it must meet any of the 2 out of the 3 points.
  6. No matter your prejudice (I hate Tyler Perry films - but he qualifies), you have to see the film in theater.
  7. Seeing the film in theater really matters because that's was part of Spike's argument. Black people don't spend enough discretionary funds on black made art.
  8. Note: I was finally motivated to share this project because of the buzz around the DuVernay Test. Let's make it a real measure of assessment in how we talk about contemporary films.
  9. Last summer, when I started this challenge, only three films came out in theaters that qualified as a black film.