Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Chris Rock faces lawsuit over Good Hair

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Comedian Chris Rock said his daughter inspired him to film the documentary Good Hair, which looks at black women and their hair. But yesterday filmmaker Regina Kimbell filed a $5 million copyright infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Chris Rock and HBO, the domestic and foreign distributor theatrical distributors for the soon-to-be-released documentary, according to a press release from virginMOONentertainment, Inc.

The complaint alleges Kimbell’s movie, “My Nappy ROOTS: A Journey Through Black Hair-” 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, 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-” 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.

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 where the broader struggle of black people began, to the modern establishment of black hair as an economic mainstay in This struggle translates into a billion dollar industry – black hair care – that exists today.

View the complaint here.

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