very beginning of cinema in the late 1890’s, black people have played a prominent
role worldwide, that hasn’t been fully explored and documented.
And this makes Italian-Ghanaian indie filmmaker, Fred ‘Kudjo’ Kuwornu’s new documentary project, which he
titles “BlaxploItalian,” so fascinating.
raised in Bologna, Italy, but now based in Brooklyn, Kuwornu says his upcoming film will highlight the neglected and untold contributions of
black actors in Italian cinema.
In his film
he intends to chronicle the story of actors (and other talents) of African descent who,
since the early 1900’s, worked in, and created opportunities for others in
Italian film, which began with the first Black man to appear uncredited in
the 1913 Italian film “Zuma the Gypsy.”
will, as Kuwornu shares, will “recount the contributions of African
American actors who resided in Italy for many years, such as Fred “The Hammer”
Williamson Calvin Lockhart, John Kitzmiller , Dots M. Johnson, and Harold
Bradley as well as the contributions of Afro-Italian actors such as: Zeudi
Araya, Livio Beshir, Ines Pellegrini, Iris Peynado, Fiona May, Denny Mendez, Bobby
Rhodes, Salvatore Marino, Jonis Bascir, Germano Gentile, Letizia Sedrick and
He also added that: “In fact, there are
hundreds of actors who performed in Italian neorealism films, ‘sword and
sandal” films, comedies of the 1960s, cop dramas of the 1970s, as well as the
softcore sexploitation films, who left a mark on the collective memory of the
Italian people. But with their passing over to only the small screen they are
left practically unrecognized by the Italian (and worldwide) mainstream media.”
filmmaker also sees his film as a “call
to action” for worldwide
audiences to engage the mainstream media, and bring about serious change in many
countries where multiculturalism, or ethnic and racial diversity, is
underrepresented within both the film and television industries.
Kuwornu has already
shot a considerable amount of footage for the film, and now needs your help in finishing it, via an Indiegogo fundraising
campaign he’s launched that will ensure the film’s completion (finish principal photography and post-production), and do so in time to submit it to the
Sundance Film Festival next year, followed by eventual theatrical distribution.
His goal is to raise $75,000 by November 4.
No doubt, a
truly unique project that deserves your attention.
To make a contribution to the “BlaxploItalian” Indiegogo campaign (and find out more about the project) go HERE (or click within the widget below).
You can also *like* the film’s Facebook page HERE.
Here’s the video pitch: