*NEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2011 – To increase awareness and bring the significant contributions of Black cinema to the forefront, Film Life Inc. and Black Enterprise magazine have teamed up to present BLACK MOVIE MONTH (BMM).
Kicking off October 1 and running through the end of the month, the BMM campaign will rally global audiences around Black cinema. The mission of the campaign is to celebrate films made by, about and starring persons of African descent, and stimulate sales of Blackmovies across various platforms, demonstrating the economic viability and influence of Black audiences.
Throughout the month of October, consumers can visit www.blackmoviemonth.com to participate in trivia contests, find recommendations on film-related articles and books, chat live and learn about upcoming theatrical and DVD releases. Most importantly, the site will feature a “Speak Up” section encouraging visitors to sign a petition to Hollywood studios advocating increased diversity of images and Black-themed stories onscreen.
Other “calls to action” featured on the site include:
Go see a movie
Engage in dialogue
Make your movie (or support someone else’s)
While Black filmmakers and actors have broken many barriers, Black-themed films have declined in recent years while African Americans continue to over-index at the box office. According to REEL FACTS, a movie goer Consumption Study recently commissioned by BET Networks, African Americans account for 195 million trips to movie theaters annually. On average, African Americans make more frequent visits to the movies (13.4 times per year vs. 11 times per year for general market moviegoers).
Jeff Friday, CEO of Film Life Inc. and Founder of the American Black Film Festival, states, “In recent years, there has been a dramatic reduction of Black films produced within the Hollywood system. While a number of Black artists are now household names, overall Black culture has been marginalized and missing in motion pictures.” The goal of the petition is to collect 200,000 names in 31 days so that studios and independent film financiers can take notice of a united voice. “We hope this effort will lead to an increase in production of films targeted to African American audiences,” Friday added.
“Black Movie Month is long overdue,” states Derek Dingle, editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise magazine. “It represents the promotion of Black cinema, the celebration of Black entrepreneurship and a call to action for all filmgoers to support diverse cinematic experiences at the box office. It further demonstrates that Blackfilmmakers, producers, financiers and consumers have the creative prowess and financial wherewithal to bring quality films to the big screen and an array of distribution channels so our voices can be heard and experiences shared. Black Enterprise fully supports Jeff Friday and Film Life Inc. in initiating this groundbreaking event that serves as homage to past filmmakers and a vehicle for exposure for today’s filmmakers and generations to come.”
2011 BMM is sponsored by Film Life Inc. Black Enterprise is the Official Media Partner. Other supporting media outlets include Uptown magazine and Blackfilm.com.
Film Life, Inc., is a New York-based film marketing, production and distribution company founded in 2000 by Jeff Friday (CEO). For full details on BLACK MOVIE MONTH, please visit www.blackmoviemonth.com.