John Singleton has signed up to act as Executive Producer on Thomas Allen Harris’ acclaimed documentary, Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, which world premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month.
Harris’ production company, Chimpanzee Productions, made the announcement last week via press release.
“I was moved by the film, these artists and what their work means to me and to the world at large,” said Singleton. “This documentary highlights the ongoing battle that black people face defining themselves image-wise. I am proud to be a part of this project.”
“We are pleased to have John Singleton on board the project as one of our executive producers,” said filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris. “It is an endorsement of the fundamental message of the film and our #1World1Family campaign, that we have more in common with each other than whatever divides us. Photographs are the surest way for one person to communicate with another’s heart. The film, along with our touring Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow, our online social media campaign via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, are all aimed at celebrating our shared values and experiences as human beings, as reflected in the images that we circulate amongst our closet family, friends and relatives.”
The documentary explores how African Americans have used photography as a tool for social change, throughout history, since the birth of photography in 1840s, as African Americans, empowered through photography, rejected what they saw about themselves in the dominant culture and took ownership of their own cultural image., Black people began to record and embrace their own truths and forge their own identities.
In addition, the film also explores how contemporary photographers and artists like Deborah Willis, Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Lyle Ashton Harris, Hank Willis Thomas, Glenn Ligon, Coco Fusco and Clarissa Sligh, have built upon the legacy of early Black photographers while trying to reconcile a past that our forebears would rather forget.
Through A Lens Darkly is part of a larger transmedia project roadshow that includes the website/traveling roadshow Digital Diaspora Family Reunion, which invites audiences to share and upload their own family photographs and participate in the creation of a global family archive that can form communities. The photos are uploaded via Instagram or Twitter through the #1World1Family hashtag and put into the One World – One Family global family album, where all are connected.
Singleton joins Kimberly Steward – the film’s other Executive Producer in support of the project. He was introduced to the project through the film’s sales agent Bill Straus of BGP.
Read our review of the film HERE.