The Hard R
“A white drug runner's cultural appropriation is called out by his black partner en route to a deal he hopes to prove himself on.” — Help us shine a light on the racism, stereotyping, and cultural appropriation that still arises from the complex intersection between modern black & white culture.
Mission StatementOur diverse team aims to shine a light on the complex intersection of modern race relations. Exploring cultural appropriation vs. appreciation. Highlighting cultural diffusion, privilege and both subtle and overt racism.
About The Project
We are a group of passionate filmmakers who want to tell a story about racism, white privilege, and cultural appropriation and we'd like to invite you to come be a part of our journey.
Our goal is to spark the start of these uncomfortable conversations about race, white privilege and cultural appropriation. Without first acknowledging it and discussing it…progress cannot be made. Film is a powerful medium for creating an emotional and visual experience, which can foster empathy. Hence, this is our medium of exploration, of protest, or sparking this much-needed and highly provocative issue.
We've seen powerful films that speak to race that sparked conversation, got people thinking and in some way positively affected our cultural awareness on the issue.
More than 4,400 black men, women, and children were killed by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. Shots were fired, skinned, burned alive, bludgeoned, and hung from trees. George Floyd's killing came six weeks after Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman, was fatally shot by police during a midnight "no-knock" search on her house in Louisville, Kentucky. It happened ten weeks after Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was killed while jogging in his neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia, by a white father and son in a pickup vehicle.
George Floyd's death, in particular, sparked a worldwide backlash and protest movement, headlined by this year's Oscar winning short about police brutality against black people called "Two Distant Strangers".
If there were ever a time for this conversation, it is now. So, with your help, we're going to start this conversation.
In light of the Black Lives Matter movement and the continued evolution of racism…If there were ever a time for this conversation, it is now. But, this is not about the overt and flagrant racism we have been accustomed to seeing. It is about the subtle yet very important racism that persists via cultural appropriation, down to the casual use of the "N" by non-black people.
Do you think it's ok to use the N-word?
Have you ever been called a racial slur?
Should people be canceled for using the N-word?
Should rappers be held accountable for using the N-word in their music?
Is there a difference between using the N-word if it ends in a "hard r" or in "a"?
Are there words that only you can use with your close associates but others can't?
Should non-Black people use the N-word? Even if it's just rapping to a song?
From your perspective, why is the N-word so unique?
Why would you even want to use the N-word?
Why is the N-word so popular among kids?
When is it ok to use the N-word if ever?
Does hip-hop perpetuate the N-word?
Should books that include the N-word i.e., Huckleberry Finn be banned?
Have you ever been called the N-word and if so what happened?
When was the first time that you heard the N-word?
What will you teach your children about the N-word?
Have you ever been physically assaulted for your race/how you look?
We want this film to have the resources of a fully-funded and well-produced studio film so that people aren't distracted by the quality of the film, but rather focus on the conversation it presents. It will be raw and messy because the subject matter is raw and messy.
It is as chaotic as the walking contradictions that we are. We are able to compartmentalize very well. It's a survival mechanism rooted deep within the human brain to tune out the unpleasantness, ugliness, and horror in life. It allows us to champion civil rights while demonizing the BLM movement. It allows us to have interracial friends while using the "N" word in secret or openly. It makes us uncomfortable to start a discussion about this vexing issue while it's bursting through our subconsciousness. It allows us to turn a blind eye to the suffering of people who are just like us, save for the color of their skin, while allowing us to live with ourselves. Let's turn this instinctive switch off and bridge these seemingly disparate compartmentalizations. Let's feel comfortable with our discomfort.
With your help, we're going to start this conversation.
Our team has donated their free time to get this film created. We all share the same passion and dedication for this story and message being brought to life.
Let's feel comfortable with our discomfort. Let's connect on our shared humanity.
to spark this
We would also like to mention that we will be COVID compliant to ensure health and safety on set. We will regularly test both cast and crew and have a COVID expert on set to help us administer the tests and deploy safety measures.
Lastly, although our funding goal is set at $32,000, we really hope to raise closer to $50,000. The reason for this is, at the 32k level, there will be many aspects of the story we might have to cut out completely in order to have a completed film. This means we'll work that much harder to push past our initial goal to achieve STRETCH GOALS that help us make the film as it has been written in its entirety. We feel that this would do the greatest service to our film's mesage, which we hold dear.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND!
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About This Team
Adad Joel Warda | co-writer/director
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area within a close-knit multicultural family, Adad is a born filmmaker who writes and directs branded content and dramatic films. He spent 12 years living abroad in Prague, traveling the world. He's multilingual and his life experiences offer a rich landscape from which to draw on. His storytelling is centered around family and exploring social issues. He has been a finalist in the Screencraft Film Fund Competition, a Finalist in the ATX Pitch Festival, and the trailer for his short film “Miss Her” has won several awards at the Ilume Film Festival. www.adadwarda.com | www.skycityhaya.com
Levi Gordon | co-writer / executive producer
Levi has always had a passion for film and has independently studied screenwriting while working as a veterinarian in New Jersey/New York and currently in Colorado. The Hard R was born out of his personal experiences where many around him misappropriated black culture. And, now, due to the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent public discourse surrounding race, he’s had many honest conversations and done research, leading him to tell this story.
Madisun Leigh | producer
Madisun Leigh possesses a very thorough understanding of the Radio and Television Broadcast Industry, having held management positions in Programming, Music, Marketing, and Promotion at CBS Radio. She has now broadened her portfolio to include Film Financing and Production working for Envision Entertainment as a Producer's Assistant and Landafar Entertainment as a Creative Executive. She resides in LA and enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, and walking and biking with her dog Soleil, oceanside! www.pergolapictures.com | www.globalpicturesmedia.com
Jamie Ohlsen | producer
Jamie is an actor, producer, and TV & Film executive based in Los Angeles. In the 3 years that she has been in the industry, she's produced 5 feaure films, 1 TV movie pilot, and 1 feature documentary. One of her more notable producing credits comes from CROSSED, an action feature, which is set to be released this year (2021) and features the late Tom 'Tiny' Lister, aka Deebo (Friday), Robert LaSardo, (The Mule, Nip/Tuck), and Omar, Gooding, (Baby Boy, Barbershop). www.imdb.com/namme/nm9514682.
Darryl Johnson | producer
Having worked in entertainment for over 30 years, Darryl has established long-term relationships with such artistic powerhouses as Akon, 50 Cent, Neyo, Paris Hilton, Dennis Haysbert, Chad Michael Collins, and more. Over the past decade, he has worked as a consultant on such films as Sniper: 6 Ghost Shooter (Turkey line production & credited weapons supervisor), Skyfall and Ghost Rider 2. Darryl is Lead Int’l Producer at UFO Film Studios, Moskitos Films, and BAWS Entertainment. He has also directed produced and written music videos and produced over 100 TV commercials. www.moskitosfilms.com | www.bawsentertainmentgroup.com
Darian P. Gray | Music Composer
As a drummer, his precise, deep-pocket style has made him a first-call session and touring pro — not just in his home state of California, but across North America and beyond. Supporting such luminaries as Cee-Lo Green, Booker T. Jones (of Booker T and the MGs), Ledisi, and Goapele, Gray has appeared on The Jay Leno Show and Live With Kelly and Michael (Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan). He has continued to innovate and expand his music repertoire. As an MC, he is able to rap while drumming. He also sings and with his own band, Dynamic, he writes, raps, and sings.
Courtney Gay Wilson | Staff Writer
Courtney possesses a sharp mind, an engaging sense of humor, the witty gift of gab and a creative spirit. Since 2010, she has been the CEO & Director of Business Development for MLE/ATTN:PR, a full-service PR firm. During this post, she was able to ghostwrite for a #1-rated CBS radio personality, eventually earning her own byline as a staff writer for CBS’ WVMV smooth jazz blog. Shortly thereafter, Courtney was given the opportunity to punch up a comedy script for a film with comedic actor Kevin Hart and Jamie Foxx attached. This gave her more opportunities to pursue her dream. She has subsequently written and polished several TV pilots & features.