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  • Oct 26, 2020
    Byron Hurt Documentary Filmmaker

    This week, I'll be posting about filmmakers that inspired me to become one myself, or who have influenced my work. #LearnAboutBlackFilmmakers DID YOU KNOW: This was my first filmmaker mentor, Andrew P. Jones. He was tough, demanding, brilliant, and deeply troubled. He was an educator, an independent filmmaker, and also a concert violinist. He famously (or infamously) led an effort to incorporate Dorchestor, Roxbury, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale as one unified city, separate and apart from the city of Boston. As a professor, he demanded excellence from all of his students. He would often say to us in class, "When you bring me your work, it is either an A or an F." After I asked him to become my mentor during my senior year at Northeastern, he would often say to me, "Hurt, If you want to become a successful filmmaker, then you must master the fundamentals of the craft." He won an Emmy for an obscure film called 'Thumbs Across America,' a doc he made for Connecticut Public Television. It was a quirky documentary about his quest to hitchhike from the Massachusetts Turnpike to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The film was highly engaging, largely because of his large, bombastic, infectious personality, the uncertainty of his journey, and the fascinating people who he met along the way. Andrew and I had a very complicated mentor/mentee relationship that devolved over time. At one point, it became very toxic and unhealthy. While we were often on the same page when discussing race and politics, we sparred over our divergent gender politics. As I grew into a pro-feminist activist, I found myself in constant opposition with Andrew's attitudes and behaviors toward girls and women. We argued, and nearly fought one another over our strong ideas. His misogyny and my anti-sexism activism strained our relationship. Eventually, Andrew and I drifted apart. While he clearly was a brilliant man, Andrew was an emotionally unhealthy person, and had inner demons that often bested him. He battled drug problems (which he talked about publicly), and financial problems, and left the United States to live in South Africa. About five years ago, I learned from a college classmate that Andrew killed himself after attempting to kill his wife. I was sad to hear this news, but honestly, not surprised. As a professional, Andrew was an award-winning guerilla filmmaker whose personality left an indelible impact on virtually everyone he met. He was a preditor (producer & editor) before someone coined the term, and he had a ferocious determination that he instilled in me. Personally, we had a rocky, on-again-off again relationship that often troubled me because of the power dynamic of our mentor-mentee status. I vehemently disagreed with his attitudes and treatment of girls and women, which drew his ire. He felt I was being co-opted by "hairy leg feminists" (his words, not mine). Through it all, I can honestly say that I grew tremendously – both personally and professionally – because of this man and all that I learned from him, good, bad, and horrible. As a young, budding independent filmmaker, he had the uncanny ability to bring out the best in me, and as a young budding anti-sexist activist, he helped me to sharpen my arguments in support of women's issues, and to courageously stand up for my beliefs.

  • Oct 25, 2020
    Byron Hurt Documentary Filmmaker

    Yaaaaaayy!!! We just surpassed the $20K mark for our virtual fundraiser. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to all who have donated! $20K in less than 10 days! We are marching toward our goal of $30,000 (and beyond), and with your support, we can get there! If you'd like to join the 214 supporters of my work and my company, God Bless the Child Productions, please make your tax-deductible donation at https://gf.me/u/y38xx3. No amount is too small, or too big! #TeamBHURT #FundByronHurt #GodBlessTheChildProductions #SupportBlackFilmmakers #SupportDocFilms #supportblackownedbusinesses #Kujichagulia #SelfDetermination

  • Oct 25, 2020
    Byron Hurt Documentary Filmmaker

    As election day approaches, please watch and share Whose Vote Counts, directed by award-winning filmmaker, June Cross. Reporting by Jelani Cobb. https://www.pbs.org/video/whose-vote-counts-fxvbr8/

  • Soul Food Junkies

    A documentary film about food, family, and tradition.

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  • Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes

    A riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in Hip-Hop culture.

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  • I Am A Man: Black
    Masculinity in America

    This classic film explores what it means to be a black man in America.

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