A group of Middle East film companies are to screen acclaimed documentary I Am Not Your Negro for free in the region in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Local distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment is partnering with online platforms BEIN, OSN, Etisalat’s E-Life, Du, Vodafone, Ooredoo, and Omantel to offer the film for free across 24 Middle East countries. The film will be available June 11-17.
Meanwhile, UAE indie cinema outfit Cinema Akil will host free screenings of the film on Friday, 12 June and Saturday, 13 June at their Dubai Al Serkal Avenue location.
The move comes in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the widespread global protests after the killing of George Floyd. Front Row had already observed a 48-hour blackout across its digital channels as a mark of respect.
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In Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro, revered writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America through his unfinished novel, Remember This House. Prolific essayist, novelist, and playwright Baldwin is well known for works including If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It On The Mountain, both of which were adapted into award winning films.
Front Row CEO Gianluca Chakra said: “As with most documentaries, I Am Not Your Negro received limited theatrical exposure in our territories and was well received in festivals, on digital and on demand as well as on pay TV. However, given the times, we feel it is essential that everyone has the chance to see this important film and really think about what it requires to bring change.
“We require deep introspection on the issue of racism and how some of our black and brown communities are affected by it in our region. This is not strictly an American problem, it is
He continued: “James Baldwin is a central figure in American letters and is one of the most important black voices on racial injustice so we are very proud to be the distributors of this masterpiece and we feel the need to take a stand. Cinema is culture and we can not turn a blind eye and act ‘business as usual’ when we see injustice. We are immensely grateful to all our partners in making this possible and we look forward to expanding these initiatives to promote tolerance and openness across our diverse cultures here.”
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