The Advocacy group Black Films Matter is supporting private parties all over the world in holding home movie-watching marathons on February 28, the night of the Academy Awards telecast, according to co-founder Durrell Cory. “If they don’t want us, we’ll hold our own ceremony— in fact thousands of ceremonies— in folks’ houses everywhere” said Cory. The move is in reaction to the fact that for the second year in a row no African Americans were nominated in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories.
At first the group planned to hold screenings of less well-known black films in theaters in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles on Oscar night. But then organizers decided that the best way to get the message out to the largest number of moviegoers would be to advocate for people holding their own movie nights at home. A list of suggested black-themed films, as well as those directed or produced by Hispanics and women, another two groups under-represented in the film Academy, is on the group’s website, blackfilmsmatter.net. Almost all of the films are available on streaming services or on DVD.
“We don’t want to deliver a negative message”, says Deneika Johnson, another co-founder. “Our purpose is not to denigrate what anyone else has done, but to showcase the incredible accomplishments of People of Color and females in the film world.”
The group encourages suggestions from the public of lesser-known films that are not mentioned on its website. Recommendations can be sent to Communications Director Roswell Tomkins at blackfilmsmatter.net.