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Just-Pics » News & Headline Stories » Director Turns To Crowdfunding To Finish ‘Black Love’ Movie

Director Turns To Crowdfunding To Finish ‘Black Love’ Movie

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Menelik Shabazz has until this Saturday (Jan 17) to raise funds for forthcoming release, Looking For Love

MENELIK SHABAZZ, otherwise referred to as the 'Godfather of black British cinema', is best known for the 70s cult classic Burning An Illusion and more recently, The Story of Lovers Rock.
The award-winning independent filmmaker, has become somewhat of a veteran in producing hit movies around love.
Hot off the heels of his last box office success, The Story of Lover’s Rock, which became the UK’s fifth highest-grossing documentary, comes a controversial, side-splittingly funny, yet serious - and at times provocative – fly-on-the wall feature documentary, simply titled, Looking for Love.
The feature-length documentary is due for cinema release this summer – only if it can attract the cash to finish the production by this Saturday (Jan 17).
Although the film is currently near completion, it requires further funding.
The film’s producer and director, Menelik Shabazz, has subsequently launched a crowdfunding campaign where people can contribute as little as £10 towards the film. To donate to the crowdfunding campaign, readers are asked to visithttp://igg.me/at/lookingforlovefilm/x/8177908 The campaign closes this Saturday (January 17, 2015).
The documentary takes an uncensored look as to why finding black-on-black love has become so elusive for hundreds of black British singles residing in probably the most culturally diverse country in Europe.
Looking for Love cleverly unpacks, pokes and explores the minefields of opinions held by members of the community, about why black on black relationships are no longer common place and continue to fall off trend.
The documentary, however, does offer several silver linings and plenty of shocking moments.

How can we find our true partners and sustain our relationships? Do we know what true love is?

These are just some of the big questions raised in the Shabazz’s forthcoming film. Its contributors include an Impressive line up of comedians such as Kojo, Eddi Kadi, Slim, Donna Spence and Mr Cee.
Watching snippets of Looking for Love is like eating chocolate fudge cake, one of those rare indulgent naughty and nice moments.
There is something positively intrusive about this documentary as you find yourself peering through the keyhole into the lives of so many people discussing their most intimate feelings and experiences of black love.
Back in the editing suite with Shabazz, I want to say, “none of this footage should wind up onto the cutting floor”, instead the interview with Menelek Shabazz, cuts to the chase.


Jacqueline Asafu-Adjaye (JAA): Why do so few black British movies make the big screen?
Menelek Shabazz (MS):
 This is because of the lack of real interest in our stories by the film industry, especially those stories that come from authentic place. It is the perception they have, that our stories are only for black people. The second aspect is that we need to support our filmmakers when they produce theatrical films, to show the industry we exist as a box office force.

JAA: Would you describe yourself a filmmaker or an entrepreneur?
 The digital age has given back the power to filmmakers especially in the area of distribution, where there are a lot of different platforms to do business, than it was few years ago. It took me many years to fully understand that making films at a professional level is a business and your ability to succeed is dependent on how you handle the business.

DISCUSSION: The production team mull over ideas for the forthcoming film

JAA: Can you tell us what your latest film LOOKING FOR LOVE is about?
 The film is about modern black on black male / female relationships and asks, ‘what is black love in the 21st century?’ It also looks at sex, intimacy and baggage. It asks questions like, ‘why are so many relationships breaking down?’ Combining the serious issues with humour from the likes of Kojo, Mr Cee, Slim and Donna Spence. It’s a film I hope will transform people’s lives.

JAA: Looking for Love breaks new ground on its journey. Tell me about the most earth shattering moment in the documentary that left you gobsmacked?
 There is an interview with a woman who talks about her niece in mid-twenties being held down by her boyfriend who then spat in her face and told her that he was expressing his love to her. What was astounding to me was that her niece actually believed him! She had to be dragged away from that relationship.

JAA: What is the DNA of a successful documentary?
 There really is no secret formula, it’s really all about shining your talent and seeing what happens.

JAA: Why did you choose to finance this film through crowdfunding?
 LOOKING FOR LOVE is a film about black love and the mainstream funders are not interested in this subject. So crowdfunding is a new way that filmmakers can attract funding. Recently Spike Lee did a similar thing. So it’s definitely a way to go and for the community to support projects.

I was inspired to make this film because I began to notice that there was a lot of our younger generations who were single and the negativity and frustration that’s out there between the sexes. I realize that both men and women are given different scripts about each other that did not enhance trust in each other’ Where is all this stuff coming from?
My own journey in relationships is another important factor for me to recognize the deep psychological patterns that affect our relationships. When you find yourself experiencing the same things in relationship after relationship you have to ask yourself some questions. This film has been a healing experience for me and it will be for a lot of people also. As men we have a lot of issues especially in communicating our emotions with ourselves and with our wives or girlfriends.
JAA: So if anyone reading this interview chooses to invest say as much £50 they will see their name flash up on the roll call? Are there other exciting benefits for financial investors?
 People can donate as little as £10 and up to £1200 to become an associate producer. So £50 won’t get you the flashing lights but you’ll get tickets to the premiere. The campaign has been running for the last month and finishes on Saturday, January 19, 2015. The important thing about getting involved is that you become in the journey of film this film that is going to excite and transform peoples lives.

Looking For Love is intended for cinema release in June 2015.

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