How can I begin to tell you about Chaz? She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading. If my cancer had come, and it would have, and Chaz had not been there with me, I can imagine a descent into lonely decrepitude. I was very sick. I might have vegetated in hopelessness. This woman never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live. She was always there believing I could do it, and her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave.
Does that sound too dramatic? You were not there. She was there every day, visiting me in the hospital whether I knew it or not, becoming an expert on my problems and medications, researching possibilities, asking questions, making calls, even giving little Christmas and Valentine’s Day baskets to my nurses, who she knew by name.
–Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, July 17, 2012.
He fought a courageous fight. I’ve lost the love of my life and the world has lost a visionary and a creative and generous spirit who touched so many people all over the world,” she said. “We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie. It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other.
–Chaz Ebert, quoted in People Magazine, April 4, 2013.
I understand wanting your indie film product of color vetted through the proper channels. I get it. But just be aware that that is what you’re doing. Be aware that your indie is handpicked by a select few. And be clear that your indie is very white boy in view. Not a bad thing. White boys like all kinds of cool stuff – other white boys, white girls and the occasional thing of color that speaks to their sensibilities as white boys. But be real, that’s limited.
It limits you from hearing new marketing and distribution ideas, meeting filmmakers and experiencing films outside of this establishment construct, outside of the circle. You’re missing some good new stuff and ignoring success stories from many folks of color (See: I Will Follow or Mooz-Lum) or are by folks who are just downright colorful (See: Audrey Ewell’s Until The Light Takes Us and Bob Ray’s Total Badass). It’s not progressive. And it isn’t what I feel most people who love, support and live indie film really want. I don’t think its purposeful hateration. I think its just this lull of curation and prestige and, to be quite honest, laziness. Whatever it is… its affecting the whole business. And its far from positive.
If these statements makes you proclaim that I’m trippin’ and “there IS no circle”– then I’m happy that I’m not talking to you. Really am. Thrilled, in fact. And I invite you to see my film about a grieving black woman shot in Topanga Canyon that Roger Ebert called “one of the best films he’s seen about the death of a loved one.” You’re just my kind of audience member.
- From “What Color Is Indie,” as posted on Hope For Film