Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Filmmaker Files Copyright Lawsuit Against Chris Rock, HBO over "Good Hair"

Tonita Perry
Eaddy Perry & Associates, Inc.
for virginMOONentertainment,inc.

(HOLLYWOOD, Oct. 6, 2009) - - Yesterday filmmaker Regina Kimbell filed a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Chris Rock, HBO, the domestic and foreign distributor theatrical distributors for soon to be released documentary “Good Hair.”

The complaint alleges Kimbell’s movie, “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage” was copied by Chris Rock after he and his production team viewed the film in June 2007. After hearing the buzz about the film, Rock requested a private screening at Paramount Studios. Unaware that Rock had a deal to produce a black hair documentary for HBO, Kimbell agreed to let him see the film.

When Kimbell saw the trailer for “Good Hair,” she immediately saw the similarities and was stunned.

“This was an important story for me to tell, which is why I poured over five years of my life researching, traveling, and, shooting this film,” explains Kimbell. “I had a feeling of disbelief and disappointment, so overwhelming that all I thought was I am seeing my film with a different title.”

Kimbell’s idea for the movie began in 2002 when her daughter then 16-year-old daughter, Brighton Lynscot, faced her own hair angst. As a result, Lynscot wrote an essay, which served as the starting point conceptually of a five-minute film, mentored by her mother. The five-minute piece went on to win a NAACP ACT-SO gold medal locally and nationally was recognized with fourth place honors, which had never been done before.

Premiering as a feature-length film in 2007 at the Pan African Film Festival and winning Festival Choice Award for Best Documentary, “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage” has evolved from an essay, to a short film, and now a feature-length film. As a short, it won several awards including first place at the Hollywood Black Film

Festival and Best of the Best at FESPACO, the largest and most prestigious international film festival held in Africa.

According to Kimbell's attorney, Reginald K. Brown, "This is a very unique infringement case. Typically, a writer or producer claims that a treatment, outline or a script was stolen. Here, a finished film was misappropriated after a defendant asked to see the film."

This definitive, feature-length documentary film examines the legacy of black hair care through cultural, societal, and political issues in the African American community over time. The film reveals the significance and pride of African hairstyles prior to the first arrival of enslaved Africans to America, where the broader struggle of black people began, to the modern establishment of black hair as an economic mainstay in America. This struggle translates into a billion dollar industry – black hair care – that exists today.

It covers a diverse array of hairstyles from dreads to braids, twists, perms, jeri curls, weaves, and the afro that bridge hundreds of years of African American culture. This zesty journey tackles “good hair verses bad hair” and the role media plays as influencer. The illustration of emerging industry trends and hair artistry from top hair shows throughout the United States allows infinite travel from the past, present, and to the future.

Kimbell assembled a world-class line-up of celebrities (Vivica A. Fox, Patti LaBelle, Niecy Nash, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, to name a few), historians, authors, journalists, comedians, hair stylists, barbers, and black hair care industry business icons to provide historical, professional, and personal accounts of their black hair journey.

For more information on “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-itage,” visit www.mynappyroots.com.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw the trailer for Chris Rock's film recently and I saw Regina Kimbell's film about six years ago and I must say there are striking similarities. I'll reserve further comment until I see all of "Good Hair"; however the film "My Nappy Roots" provided a through exploration of black hair ie: historical attitudes of people towards black hair, business trends in black hair products, variety of styles of black hair, etc.

The fact that R. Kimbell had this product developed and on the screen years before C. Rock's newest black hair film was released, makes one raise-an-eyebrow about this suit. And, when I read that C. Rock actually saw "My Nappy Roots" years before his was released. That fact makes one open-their-eyes widely.