Don Cheadle said his passion project about Miles Davis would not have gotten off the ground without crowdfunding and a white co-star.
The 51-year-old actor and producer, produced, co-wrote and starred in Miles Ahead, a movie depicting the life of Miles Davis.
Getting financing had been a huge problem and was only solved after he only raised about $360,000 on Indiegogo, which allows artists to collect donations for projects, and hired Scottish actor Ewan McGregor.
He said it was one of the realities of the business that we are in that films with all-black casts are thought to have little chance of distribution outside the United States and thus dont attract investment.
There is a lot of apocryphal, not proven evidence that black films dont sell overseas, he told reporters at the Berlin film festival. Having a white actor in this film turned out to actually be a financial imperative.
Cheadle said it forced him to rework the script, which focuses on a period in the late 1970s in which Miles Davis fell into a creative slump.
I think it works great, and particularly the fact that Ewan McGregor is the actor who is in it, I think he is fantastic in the movie. But that was a component of allowing us to even have a budget to get the film made.
Miles Ahead hits theaters on April 1st.
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