Alumnus needs votes to push his ‘Dear White People’ pitch video to land Tribeca prize

The movie isn’t even made yet, but the Dear White People YouTube video trailer created by Justin Simien ’05 to generate financial backing for the film has already taken social media by storm.

Since its upload just a month ago, the video has received 750,000 views and was the topic of a CNN news segment. Now it’s also in competition to win the Indiewire Project of the Month.

Simien ’05 came up with the film idea shortly after leaving Chapman.  He wrote the script and is working with four other producers to take the concept to the big screen.  The film is “a satire about being a black face in a white place,” he said.

To begin fundraising and spread the word about the project, the team created an Indigogo page and set a fundraising goal of $25,000.  With the help of supporters, they surpassed their goal within three days and have raised more than $41,000.

“The success of our original campaign was a sign that there is a desire for this movie out there and we could really make this happen,” said Simien.

If Dear White People is selected Indiewire Project of the Month, Simien and the other producers will get a sit-down and consultation with the Tribeca Film Institute.   To vote, please click here.

“This is going to be my first feature and I want to make sure I make the movie the way I want to,” said Simien.  “I might even film at Chapman!”

Voting will end Friday, Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. Pacific time.

Dawn Bonker

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