I love a good movie. Being transported to another place in time, while embracing an eclectic cast of characters is such a wonderful escape for a couple of hours. There are a few movie buffs in my family so I’ve been exposed to either sitting through or hearing about a variety of cinematic greats, as well as independent films and documentaries. Since this is a hobby I enjoy it still amazes me how many classic films and box-office favorites I still have not seen. This AFI’s 100 Years 100 Movies is a great checklist. I’ve only seen half of what’s on it; so I have some work to do. I aspire to start scratching titles off of my to-view list over the next year.
A couple of my friends have taken their passion for documentaries and developed their own content and are helping distribute culturally relevant films that are designed to teach, uplift and inspire all people. Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are helping thousands of people like them promote their films and raise funding for production and/or distribution. Today I wanted to shine a spotlight on them and their projects.
First up, Ralph Scott. He’s been an independent film promoter for almost two decades and now he is finally doing his own project called Barbasol. It’s a story about a man who desperately wants to build a relationship with his absentee father, but time and memories are slipping away due to his father’s diagnosis of dementia. This subject matter moves me not only because of the current journey I am experiencing with my mother and her dementia, but I believe it is so important to have more male bonding stories told. Unfortunately, they aren’t a dime a dozen.
My childhood friend Derrick Heggans recently launched a niche film distribution company called Rose Park Productions. He has a suite of incredibly inspirational sports documentaries that are in need of funding for national distribution:
- Uneven Fairways: Samuel L. Jackson narrates the story of Charlie Sifford, the first African-American to receive a PGA Tour Players card and inspired legions of young golfers of all ethnicities.
- Jesse Owens shares how this elite athlete, despite immense pressure, was able to dispel Hitler’s theory of Aryan supremacy on a global stage at the 1936 Olympics.
- White Wash is a film exploring the triumphs and challenges of black surfers.
- Universal Babe shares untold stories of baseball legend Babe Ruth as a global, cultural ambassador.
Whether its fiction or historical, supporting great storytelling is something I love to do. Being entertained and educated while helping fulfill the dream of filmmakers sounds like a win-win to me.