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16/01/2012

'Hollywood Won't Support Black Films', Says Director

A director has said that it took him nearly 20 years to get his latest film made because it is an all black movie.
Director George Lucas, speaking on The Daily Show, said that he had to self-fund the film, Red Tails, which follows the true story of a group of African American pilots who fought in World War 11.
According to Mr Lucas he invested £60m of his own money into the movie because film studios would not back it because there were no major white roles in it.
Lucas's comments echo those of Spike Lee, who criticised the lack of black faces in Hollywood war movies in 2008.
Not Just One Man’s View
Elsewhere the portrayal of certain ethnic groups and other minority groups in film are also being questioned and criticised.
A recent study into film revealed that the majority of the UK population believes more needs to be done to create an authentic portrayal of the country's diverse audiences that includes older women and minority ethnic groups.
The independent study undertaken by global research agency, Harris Interactive, on behalf of the UK Film Council – who funded the Oscar -winning film, The King's Speech - surveyed 4,315 people to uncover their views and opinions about the portrayal of diverse groups in film.
The research incorporated specific groups including older women, minority ethnic groups, lesbian/gay/bisexual audiences (LGB), and C2D social classes, and focuses on those who are into film.
An interesting finding from the study highlights that there is considerable commercial opportunity to be reaped if diverse groups are represented more authentically on film. 59% of Asian, 66% of Black African/Caribbean, 54% of East European and 51% of LGB audiences say they would watch more films if they felt this was the case.
Yet Lucas claimed that when he showed the film studios his work they said there was no market for it.
He said: "I showed it to all of them and they said, 'No. We don't know how to market a movie like this'".
"They don't believe there's any foreign market for it, and that's 60% of their profit," he added.
Lucas put £37.8 million of his own money into the movie. It will be released by his company Lucasfilm, and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox.
Meanwhile according to the Hollywood Reporter he is putting a further £22.8 million towards the distribution costs.
The film will feature several well-known names - including Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr, Terence Howard and R&B star Ne-Yo - and shows how the pilots were segregated and kept on the ground for most of the war, until they were called up to fight for their country.
The real-life airmen featured in the drama were given a Congressional Gold Medal by then-President George Bush in 2007.
(LB/GK)
VMI.TV Ltd

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