Turning Point in American Cinema

I just read in my Variety Daily email that Julia Roberts and Brett Ratner have pacted with Reliance, the entertainment conglom in India. And in the same email, that 20th Century Fox is making its first Arabic-language feature film after inking a deal with Moroccan director Hicham Ayonch to develop and finance, “Samba.”

And this isn’t the first of these. Last year when Dreamworks and Paramount divorced, it was quickly announced that Dreamworks was to re-marry and basically be under, Reliance. And there was a huge mega-deal in 2007 with Warner Bros and Abu Dhabi to make Arab friendly movies. Warner Bros VP of international division, Richard Fox said, “There’s a huge population of Arabic-speaking youth that needs to have their voice in cinema, and their own heroes.”

Nothing is wrong with any of that. You got to go with the money, after all this is show business. And its great giving voice in cinema to those who don’t have it and especially when it is for a large audience of potential ticket buyers!

  • But do they have to go international to do it?
  • Do they think they have exhausted all the underserved markets here at home?
  • Will they continue to overlook the largest and fastest growing minority in America?
  • And except for comic books and sequels, is this where American cinema is going?

And In 10, 20, 50+ years from now will this be remembered as a ”turning point” in American cinema? I mean will people look back like we do now on the significant change in American cinema for black characters and people in the 1960’s and specifically with roles starring Sidney Poitier?

It can and will be when my work, Abilities United Productions has launched our first of many feature films. Will any of these Arab or Indian crossover, friendly American films do what we will?

  • Giving an authentic voice, vision, and representation to Americans with a disAbility that have been unjustly silenced and forced to have able bodied be our representatives for the over 100 year history of American cinema?
  • Help pioneer the breaking of Hollywood stereotypes on Americans in movies and television which has a huge influence on our culture and in turn our society? The images of Hollywood go a lot further than just entertaining audiences. The impact is much more then just a reflection of American society and most often influences the opinions and subsequent actions on causes and people by our society.
  • And what about how my work and my determination to hire only actors with the same or similar disAbility as my characters will help end the blatant, industry-wide discrimination of those with a disAbility? Will any of those films be remembered as having a large effect on AMERICANS?
How many Americans? Will it be anywhere near the 56 million Americans with a disAbility? Or the impact it will have on their family and friends to see their loved ones finally portrayed as genuinely, authentically and honestly as a part of the American Scene as they know that their loved ones deserve? And if we conservatively just add one family member or friend and expand this niche market to 112 million Americans that will be deeply affected will that not be more significant than Arab friendly movie? You could add all of the Arab Americans including all of their family members of the same decent and the Americans from India and all of their family members, and you would not get near half the 56 million Americans with a disAbility, let alone the additional family or friends that doubles that number to equal ONE THIRD of the AMERICAN POPULATION!

So what is Hollywood so afraid of?

Or even a better question since the bottom line in show business is business, why is Hollywood so blind to the number of this market segment? Why do they seemingly not care for an instant and loyal audience of 112 million American moviegoers? And since Hollywood does rely on the global market for significant revenue, we can certainly expand our reach. As we already know the global market is often much more likely to attend a movie that features a character out of the norm. Especially since they can identify with being out of the normal when it comes to Americans! And the U.N. has estimated that there are 650 million people with a disAbility around the world!

That ought to be enough to make Hollywood at least consider what I have to offer! Especially since my work goes well beyond just sticking a character who uses a wheelchair in the middle of a screenplay. And I have detailed elements and marketing strategies in an 80+ page business plan to tell exactly how to reach and capture this audience in even today’s rough economy! With the commercial aspect covered, I also bring an authentic voice that will not alienate or offend the disAbled community! And it will do so much – for so many!

Come on Hollywood. Who has 10 minutes for me to explain how YOU will have a significant impact on American cinema, if you partner with me and will last more than a lifetime? Someone will take me up on this because I will not stop and then the rest will be recorded in history as a significant “turning point” for those with a disAbility in American cinema.

Will it be you or your competitor? Tomorrow might be too late! Yeah, you better get your assistant to find my number before history records that you were one that did NOT act when such an opportunity was revealed to you!

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