Check the following list for some great black independent films of the 21st Century that you may have overlooked. Independent movie are always produced without financing from any of the "six major studios." The six major Hollywood film studios are Warner Bros. Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone, Columbia Pictures, and Universal Pictures. Here is a list of black independently produced movies of this century that you should see.

  1.  "Antwone Fisher". This independent autobiographical film was Denzel Washington's directorial debut, it was partially produced by his production company, Mundy Lane Entertainment. Antwone (Derek Luke), was raised in foster care and is now a U.S. Navy sailor who constantly gets into fights because of his bad attitude. Antwone is sent to a Navy psychiatrist as a result of frequent fighting where he is able to confront some dark secrets in his past. After opening up and making progress with the help of the psychiatrist (Denzel Washington), the "new" Antwone begins a journey to find the family he never knew. 

  2. "Color of the Cross". This is actor/independent movie producer Jean-Claude La Marre's interpretation of the last 48hrs of the life of Jesus Christ. La Mare explores the possibility of Christ having been a black African and that his crucifixion may have been racially and politically motivated. The film challenges its audience to question traditional beliefs about the story of Jesus Christ. La Marre's story is heavily focused on the mentality of the Romans who occupied Judea, Christ's relationship with his disciples, as well as Mary and Joseph's reaction to Jesus' persecution.

  3. "Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls". This family/romantic comedy film was written, directed and produced by independent filmmaker Tyler Perry. It is the story of the trials and tribulations of Monty (Edris Elba), a poor blue collar worker who loses custody of his three young daughters to his drug dealing ex-wife. Desperate to get his girls back, Monty hires a beautiful lawyer, Julia (Gabriella Union) to help him. Along the way Monty and Julia fall in love but their relationship is tested because of their very different social and money statuses. But the two work together to win the girls back and keep their relationship in the end.

  4. "Next Day Air". This independent screwball comedy centers on ten kilos of top grade cocaine that ends up in the wrong hands. Bodego Diablo (Emilio Rivera) is missing a large shipment of cocaine and he will stop at nothing to get it back. It seems that the cocaine has been delivered to the wrong apartment, the home of two very broke friends played by Mike Epps and Wood Harris. Brody (Epps) and Guch (Woods) are already making plans to spend the money they plan to make from the coke when the delivery man played by Donald Faison is forced back to the apartment at gunpoint by Bodego and his goons for a showdown to get his ten kilos back. 

  5. "Miracle at St. Anna". This WWII film follows an incident involving the all black 92nd "Buffalo Soldier" Infantry Division. Independent filmmaker Spike Lee produced an directed this adaptation of James McBride's novel. Three soldiers who while behind enemy lines try to hold off advancing Nazis in an Italian town of resistors. But instead of receiving backup, they are given orders to capture a German soldier so that he can be interrogated. All but one of the Black soldier was killed when the Germans too the town over.

  6. "Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire". Precious was the winner of two Academy Awards, best supporting actress (Monique) and best adapted screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher). Directed by Lee Daniels, Precious is the story of a sixteen year old physically and emotionally abused girl who is illiterate and pregnant with her second child. After all that Precious has been through, she with the help of a few caring adults puts her past behind herself in order to get an education and make a better life for her children.

 Note: You can find each one of these black independent films of the 21st Century on DVD for your enjoyment.

-Tyrone Cousin