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The Los Angeles premiere of the film “Dear White People” has critics wondering whether the film will be a breakaway success. The trailer for the film was premiered at Sundance where it was met with uproarious laughter. Still, given America’s uneasy relationship with race, some guests have been noticeably uncomfortable during the race satire film. Addressing that awkwardness, the film’s director says he wants people to know that it’s OK to laugh.
Director and writer Justin Simien offered a helpful hint from festival director Stephanie Allen.
“She said that I should tell the white people that it’s OK to laugh,” he explained. “‘It has been such a joy to see people connect with this film.”
Simien explained that the film, set on an Ivy League campus, goes back ten years.
“I originally wrote a screenplay in 2006 called ‘The 2 Percent’ with 14 characters,” he recalled. “It was very Altmanesque.”
Producer Effie Brown discussed the process of getting the film financed and making the film.
“We got the financing on Feb. 14 and we wanted to have it for Sundance so we moved really fast,”
“Dear White People” details what happens after white students throw a black themed party. Simien won Sundance’s Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the festival.
Director and writer John Singleton recently advised black filmmakers and actors not to be afraid of being black.
“Don’t try to be something else,” Singleton implored the crowd. “Everyone’s gonna copy our shιt anyway. I made the blackest Fast and Furious, I made Paul Walker say ‘Cuz’ in the movie. I elevated it. You can’t front that [black films] don’t make money. I haven’t lost anybody money. People said, ‘Twelve Years a Slave, I don’t want to feel bad, oh, that’s a hard sell — $178 million, so what the f— is commercial, you know?”
Reviews for the film have been complimentary. Will you be checking out the film?