My name is Dr. Frank Ezenekwe and I came to California in the year 2000 to make films in Hollywood. My scripts got returned by all the studios, agents didn't return my calls, when I produced my films Sundance said no and distribution companies ignored my ambition. It was a hopeless start to my Hollywood dream and I wish I could tell you that it had a feel good ending. Then one day i met a friend at restaurant in a Hollywood, Eric Le Salle was in the same spot with a hot date, and a few tables away there was an argument brewing. These gentleman were insisting that Tom Cruise will never get an Academy Award, I had to let that sink in for minute. From Endless Love to Top Gun and The Firm, I've always liked and still like Tom Cruise and it bothered me that someone in Hollywood had the power to deprive Tom Cruise then we all are certainly vulnerable.
While hosting the Oscar's a few years ago, when black were asked to boycott the show, Chris Rock, a very smart comedian and social scientist, made a joke that said "why are black people boycotting a show that they were never invited to in the first place? It was a joke but its the reality in Hollywood today and the American Film Awards, since its inception in 2007 is changing the old narrative and creating a platform that gives a small actor, director or producer a chance to have his film seen, included, nominated, celebrated and monetized.
As we celebrate our 16th annual American Film Awards on 2.22.22, the Corona Virus is still at large, the Meta universe is being created, Virtual Reality is a reality and the language of the day is NFT's, Crypto, Blockchains and Smart Contracts.
THE AWARDS EXPERIENCE
In 2022, cinema is being redefined by social media. If you can see it, its cinema. Film is the purest form of Cinema but any concept or idea that has a storyline is cinematic. The creation of a business empire is cinematic. A person can be an American film if the storyline of their life is visually captivating. Nas and Hitboy is cinematic, Jay-Z and Beyonce on tour is cinematic, Timbaland and Swiss creating and owning Verzuz, Elon Musk creating The Boring Company and Loop is cinematic, Inspiration4's first commercial flight to space is cinematic
As music expresses the feelings of our generation, films narrate the stories of our generation. The world is changing fast, especially in the area of social media interaction and technology. We do embrace the change but we must protect the cinematic simplicity of a heartwarming story before it gets turned into a virtual reality. When was the last time you got excited about a film?