*“Beyond the Lights” star Nate Parker and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg are teaming on a documentary about a “black male crisis” in America following the August shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Berg, Parker and writer-director Matthew Cooke launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign on Wednesday — two days after the announcement of a grand jury failing to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting, reports Variety.
The campaign has already generated $4,223, or 17% of its $25,000 goal. Deadline for contributions is Jan. 5.
“In response to the growing problem of racial disparity due to the ongoing dehumanization of black men, actor and activist Nate Parker is setting out on a journey of investigation,” the campaign site said. “He will venture into black communities to speak to various stakeholders about the crisis facing these men. Through the examination of specific cases, Nate will create relevant and responsive discourse with the intention of mining strong and tangible solutions to combat this ever-growing crisis.”
Berg said she and Parker met and began collaborating a few years ago.
“Our conversations about race in this country have been ongoing,” she said. “It is truly a tragic state that we are in that we have to remind people that we abolished slavery 150 years ago, but the sad statistics today show that black people are targeted every day by the system. Our systemic racial profiling is very deeply embedded in our culture, and the Michael Brown case shows we have to find a way to change this. Now.”
The filmmakers noted that there are no traditional financial backers for the project, adding, “We grab cameras and we go. We shoot until we can’t shoot anymore. At the moment, we are on hold. We need to get moving as soon as we can and grab more of this amazing footage, all so that we can tell this incredibly powerful and demanding truth about race inequality in America.”
Berg was nominated for an Academy Award for her documentary “Deliver Us From Evil” and directed “West of Memphis.” Her Hollywood sex abuse doc “An Open Secret” screened on Nov. 14 at the NY Doc festival.
Parker’s credits include “Pride,” “The Great Debaters,” “Red Tails” and “Beyond the Lights.” Cooke is the writer-director of “How to Make Money Selling Drugs.”