*On Christmas Day, the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) issued a national call to action to communities across the country to go out and actively support films that focus on telling the stories of the diverse Black Experience that features Black and other diverse actors in key roles.
“Take a Seat and Make a Stand” is a clarion call to and support these movies the first weekend and soon thereafter in record numbers. This call to action articulates the power of audience turnout while ensuring that Black and other diverse films have strong box office success; inspiring other critical and much needed diverse stories to be made.
Citing the unprecedented fall and Christmas Day release of six critically acclaimed films featuring Black actors, and about diverse and Black Life and culture (Fences, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, Loving, Queen of Katwe, Collateral Beauty), BHERC feels strongly that the success of these highly important films can be influenced by a “must see” groundswell emanating from the community.
Post Christmas – and thruogh the new year — there is a unique important opportunity to send a clear message of support for two outstanding films that opened Christmas Day. Fences and Hidden Figures as well as demonstrating support for films in theaters now Moonlight, Loving and Collateral Beauty and Queen of Katwe. Additionally, support Birth of a Nation if it is showing in your community.
Fences is set in 1950s Pittsburgh. A former Negro League player, now working as a waste collector, struggles to provide for his family and come to terms with the events of his life. A 2016 American drama film directed by Denzel Washington and written by August Wilson, based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name. The film stars Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney.
Hidden Figures is the incredible untold story of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe)—brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit, a stunning achievement that restored the nation’s confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world.
Moonlight is a stirring coming-of-age drama that chronicles the life of a young African-American man from childhood to manhood in a rough Miami neighborhood. Writer/Director Barry Jenkins’ film features a powerhouse ensemble cast including Naomie Harris, Janelle Monáe and Mahershala Ali. Moonlight is considered by film critics as this year’s front-runner to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Loving is the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose challenge of their anti-miscegenation arrest for their marriage in Virginia led to a legal battle that would end at the US Supreme Court.
Collateral Beauty. Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Queen of Katwe – A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.
The call to action to support is simple.
• Join the First Weekend Club at www.BHERC.org to receive updates about upcoming films
• Individuals and Families: Gather your friends, family, and work colleagues and attend
• Religious organizations, Community Groups, Fraternities and Sororities organize group viewings
• Media: Spread the word about supporting these films and the community effort
• Parks, Recreation, and Youth organizations: Plan outings to see the movies
• Schools: Implement an excursion to the theater and work the subjects into your curriculum
• Volunteer and Non-Profit Organizations: Offer to underwrite tickets for others
• Take a picture of your group and post and/or tweet it on our Facebook page or on Instagram.
• Share your comments about the films and challenge your network to get out and view these feature films
For more information about BHERC and this effort please call (310) 284-3170 or log on to our website www.bherc.org by joining the BHERC First Weekend Club movement today.Take a Seat to Make a Stand. Remember to
“Educate, Inspire, Empower” through the power of film,
Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, BHERC is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television. Celebrate the artistry by supporting our filmmakers, with diverse topics, stories, techniques and broad themes multi-layered with humor, drama, and reality.
Get more info: www.BHERC.org