Date: 24th November 2000

Van Peebles Is Still A Pretty Baaadass Filmaker

The eighth annual Contemporary African Diaspora Film Festival, presenting features, short films, documentaries and animated works of black filmmakers, opens in New York today (Friday) with a retrospective of the films of actor Isaach De Bankolé (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai).

At a news conference prior to the festival, veteran filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles (SWEET SWEETBACK'S BAAADASS SONG) lambasted a reporter who asked whether he thought that the prospects for black directors had improved since he started making movies 40 years ago.

He replied: "That's the most stupid f***in' question I've ever heard! Why? Because they didn't exist. Because there were no black directors There were none. None. Bupkes!" Van Peebles' latest film, A Bellyful, is due to premiere this weekend at the festival, which continues through Dec. 10.

Source: Studio Briefing