When director Ivan Dixon and writer Sam Greenlee were trying to get the politically charged African-American film “The Spook Who Sat by the Door” made in the early 1970s, they faced major challenges in securing funding.
Not much has changed since then, says Christine Acham, a University of California-Davis professor who is working on a documentary about the making of the film.
Acham said that though conditions have improved in the last 40 years, black filmmakers still struggle to get their films made.
Check out our gallery of the hottest black stars in Hollywood:
“It is always challenging for African-American filmmakers to get funding,” Acham said. “It’s clearly helped by the Oprahs and Tyler Perrys of the world, who have their own studios and the ability to greenlight projects, but outside of that, if you are an independent or a black filmmaker, it is difficult to get black stories told.”
Times are tough for Hollywood in general. With the country firmly entrenched in a recession, gone are the days when studio executives were eager to take a multimillion-dollar chance on projects that may or may not find an audience.