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Film Industry Veterans Say Movies With Diverse Casts Have A Widespread Positive Impact

Films like “Black Panther,” “Hidden Figures,” “A Wrinkle In Time” and “Girls Trip” have brought in billions for movie studios – in fact “Black Panther” is on track to be the highest grossing film of all time.

But when it comes to films with diverse casts, the measure of success isn’t just measured by its bottom line. The movies are a chance for people in the African Diaspora to see themselves on screen, and serve to help expose members of the public who don’t interact with minorities a different narrative about the black experience.

“Hopefully, it’s becoming the new norm,” Doreen Spicer-Dannelly, a screenwriter whose book “Love Double Dutch” is out April 3, said. “People want to know the experiences of African-Americans and Latino stories, because they are human stories.”

One reason why majority minority films do so well is that they are an opportunity for African-Americans to see themselves on screen – an opportunity they historically haven’t had, said Ed Sylvan, of film distribution company Sycamore Entertainment, which develops films from minorities and provides marketing and distribution services.

Another is that African Americans are more likely to use social media like Twitter compared to their white counterparts, according to the Pew Research Center. And with online phenomenon’s like Black Twitter, word is sure to get out fast.

“We are social as a group,” Sycamore told us. “And when you add social media, word spreads.”

But the biggest success measure appears to be one that can’t be defined by money. It’s the bettering of race relations in America and beyond, Sycamore and Spicer said.

“I think it sends a message about America, saying, we have our stuff together,” Spicer said. “We do love each other. America is not only about hate. We do love each other regardless of race or creed.”


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