"White Face" - Mtume Gant
“White Face” – Mtume Gant

Mtume Gant’s last short film, “Spit” (a love letter to hip-hop, we can call it broadly), is one of the stronger heartfelt shorts I’ve seen in the last couple of years; I dug it so much that I selected it as one of about a dozen shorts we screened at the New Voices in Black Cinema Festival in Brooklyn, NYC in 2015, where it was very-well received by those in attendance. And it has gone on to screen at multiple festivals around the country, winning awards and fans along the way.

Gant is now set to premiere his next film, which has been in production since last summer when we feature its crowdfunding campaign on this blog.

This one titled “White Face,” will make its world premiere at the highly-regarded Ashland Independent Film Festival (in Ashland, OR) next month (April 7th, 4 screenings in total!).

As the filmmaker says: “I will be honest, because of its style and subject matter ‘White Face’ hasn’t been the easiest to get Film Festivals to embrace so I give extra thanks to Ashland for being a champion of this piece and an aid in getting this work of immediate relevance out there! Thank you all who supported the film, who contributed to it and double thanks to all who worked on it. We are just getting started!”

So why the difficulty in getting the film accepted by film festivals? As Gant suggests, its subject matter may be partly responsible.

What’s “White Face” about? Per the filmmaker: “‘White Face’ is the story of New York actor Charles Rodgers, a man who hates his Black skin and all the hardship that comes with it. Feeling trapped by his race, Charles believes he has found the solution to his problems – change his appearance to embody “Whiteness” – erase all that he has ever been and join the group he believes he should be a part of. But is this ever possible?

There’s obviously more to the story, but I’ll *hand the mic* over to the filmmaker to tell it as he only can. So watch the crowdfunding pitch video he used last year when he was raising money, in which he speaks more in depth about “White Face.” And underneath it, you’ll find a teaser for the film giving you a glimpse at what to expect.

First, here’s the 2016 crowdfunding pitch video:

And here’s the teaser-trailer: