Since George Lucas began making the rounds to promote his upcoming World War II action film Red Tails about the Tuskegee Airmen, many have been debating about whether or not to support the film.

Lucas has been very vocal about his difficulties getting the film financed by a major studio, and admitted to investing over $90 million of his own money into the film.

While many say they won’t see it because the story of the Tuskegee Airmen has been told before, others argue that black audiences should support the film to prove to Hollywood that  films with all-black casts can be commercially successful.

Although I won’t rehash the politics of why you should or shouldn’t support the film, lost in the conversation about Red Tails is a discussion about other independently financed black films that deserve the same attention.

This week marks the start of the famed Sundance Film Festival, and despite Hollywood’s refusal to promote black films, several black filmmakers are showcasing films.

So while you may or may not be seeing Red Tails this weekend, don’t forget to keep an eye out for these films as well!

Red Hook Summer

Spike Lee is back, and just like George Lucas, he financed his latest film on his own. Fed up by the lack of support from studios, Lee invested his own money into making a film that explores  gentrification in Brooklyn. When asked why it took him so long to make another film, Spike told reporters, “It had been too long since I’d done a film, and I couldn’t wait on Hollywood anymore . . . too many meetings, too many false starts, too many stuck projects. It’s going to be easy for people to say, ‘Spike can’t get a big-budget film like Inside Man, so he has to come back on a shoestring.’ That’s not really the case. I never took this movie to studios, and I wanted complete freedom to make the movie I wanted to make.”

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