Black Films Travel, a conscious apparel line by Myth vs Truth, was born from our desire to dispel the myth that Black films don’t make money overseas.
Alisa Dennis (film lover) + Tamika Miller (filmmaker)
I’m a filmmaker - a storyteller. I’ve written and directed award-winning short films, commercials and music videos. Like many independent filmmakers, I’ve written because I’ve had to write in order to tell the stories I want to tell. I’ve written because I want to see myself reflected back to me on screen. I want to see women. I want to see people of color. I want to see people of color with complexity, and fully realized lives.
For a few years now, I’ve teamed with producers to help secure financing for a feature film I’ve co-written and will direct. My script has been well received with notable, talented actors attached, of which I’m thrilled!
My script has African-American leads in the starring roles.
With everything it has going for it, it's been hard fought to find a production company and/or financier to say, ‘Yes, we’ll finance your film.’ The conversation quickly changes from ‘we love your script’ to my film ‘doesn't have foreign value.’
‘Let’s run the numbers….’
In layman’s terms, ‘doesn’t have foreign value’ means that African-Americans in films have no overseas appeal and therefore no foreigners will watch the film. Given no one abroad will watch the film, my film will not make money. Because film studios, independent production companies and film financiers believe this to be true, my film, along with countless other films don’t get financing as quickly as other films, if they get financing at all.
This is where the term, “Black films don’t travel” comes from. It is a false construct. A fallacy. A myth born out of the erroneous assumption that Black films don't resonate universally.
And so, my partner Alisa, and I, decided to embark on a campaign to dispel this myth that “Black films don’t travel” by proving the contrary and compiling a list of numerous Black films that have had significant international gross sales. This TRUTH list purposefully does not include domestic sales, but foreign sales ONLY.
Alisa and I are defining these Black films, in this instance, by two of the three following criteria:
- The film’s lead cast members are predominantly African-American, with central and fully developed characters.
- The film’s story is unique to the African-American and/or African Diaspora experience.
- The film is written and/or directed by an African-American.
Please note, this is not a complete list by any means, as there are other noteworthy films that can be included on the list. And, there are a couple of films we didn’t include because we couldn’t find accurate data on the their gross foreign sales, but are fairly certain they’ve made a successful financial mark internationally.
This campaign is for those who appreciate and advocate for multiculturalism.
Our hope is that we film lovers, studio executives, financiers, and lovers of truth, equity, and inclusion will dispel the MYTH and fearlessly speak TRUTH to power.
Alisa and Tamika