The Villains to Heroes Initiative
Title: Black Matter: The Villains to Heroes Initiative
The journey to create a non-traditional hero.
Writer/Director/Producer: Maurice J. Cardwell
Production: Black Rain Films, Onyx Storm Media
Logline: Defying the odds to make the next urban superhero.
Tagline: Anyone can be SUPER. Anyone can be a HERO.
Name as many movie, comic book or television superheroes you can in 10 seconds. Right off the bat, most would say Superman, Spiderman, Batman etc, and easily a handful more without having to put much thought to it. Now, in that exact same amount of time, name as many superheroes of color. Unfortunately, minority characters are grossly underrepresented. African American characters are essentially either sidekicks, or advisers/assistants. There is a lack of African American superheroes, especially characters with a consistent story line.
That answer is the premise of what this documentary is built on. Filmmaker Maurice J. Cardwell chronicles his quest to make the next cinematic superhero of color The Last Hero and connects with other amazing urban creators nationwide on their efforts to tell stories that have yet to be told by people of color.
Several studies have been conducted on the lack of diversity in Hollywood and how having a multicultural cast actually increases revenue at the boxoffice. However, neither of these two issues has brought about a change in the number of films being made featuring non-traditional characters. "Let us accept that there are serious issues with the under-representation of African Americans, along with other minorities in American comics and film" – Anthony Damiani. The reason that it's important to bring these kinds of characters to the big screen should be obvious to anyone; the face of America is diverse from sea to shining sea, and the face of our heroes should represent that very same diversity. And if this idea is to become a reality, we need more superheroes that is an accurate depiction of our society. We can save the day too.
So it is with this, we go forward to fill a void in this particular genre knowing anyone, regardless or race, creed, or gender can be SUPER. Anyone can be a HERO. The journey begins.