Filmmaker Olu Gittens, that’s me. For my official bio, please click here. This blog is a chance for you to get to know me. So what can I tell you? I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and loved art and film from the very start. I remember as a small child seeing a retrospective of Lena Horne’s work, Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather, on the big screen. Wow! These giants – Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ethel Waters, Cab Calloway – set a standard that we have every reason to strive for today. It was then that my love affair with films began.
“Why African American movies? Why not just films for everyone?” I’ve been asked. Well, the films I make are for everyone and I hope that people of all backgrounds will see my work. But it’s important to me to show characters and story lines that reflect a diverse African American experience because we haven’t seen enough of these stories. We’ve had to piece together our stories and images reflected through Hollywood, as though peering at ourselves through a fractured mirror.
That’s why I love independent film. Despite the do-it-yourself nature of the work, you get the chance to have your own voice, to see your own reflection. It’s hard work, but worth the effort.
I hope you’ll enjoy the outcome!