Why We Need the Greenwood Film Festival
In recent years, the film industry, along with the world, has experienced major shifts, setbacks, and challenges. This unique time in history demanded that everyone be flexible, adaptable, and called for innovative ideas that would push people forward.
Having to shift gears, many have been searching for purpose and revisiting stashed away youthful dreams they lost as adults. With that, we see the likes of new black filmmakers on the horizon who see the value of using their voice for truthful storytelling. Whether unlocking hidden mysteries of the past, shining light on generational curses, or exploring the beauty of black love, these artists are making waves in unapologetic black expression.
With an industry that is still underrepresented in black filmmakers, writers, and other talent, the need for safe, creative spaces to highlight truthful storytelling is outstanding and overdue. That’s what makes the timing of the Greenwood Film Festival so beautiful. Founded in the year of the 100th commemoration of the Black Wall Street Massacre, GFF curated a three day event that welcomed various creatives across the nation to celebrate black film and learn from past struggles and pain as the black community continues to fight for their voices to be heard and their stories to be told.
And this year is no different as GFF invites filmmakers to bring truth to audiences that isn’t always available within arm’s reach. “Use your cellphones, your house, your cousin’s car. Because waiting for all the equipment you need doesn’t produce a film. Use what you have because the value is not in the lens itself, but what it’s able to capture” (Dennis Y. Delemar). This season demands that filmmakers be innovative no matter what. Dwindled funds? Build relationships and resources. Lacking experienced crew? Use friends or family who will make time to show their support. The point is that there will always be some challenge, great or small, but the need will remain. The message is the same today: Truthful storytelling telling now. It’s not just for the person creating art, but for whoever sees it and is inspired to do the same, from this generation to the next.
And this is only the beginning.