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Charles Burnett was 'surprised and shocked' about his honorary Oscar, offers advice to other filmmakers

Tre'vell Anderson, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Q: Who are the newer filmmakers who have caught your eye?

A: There are so many. I don't want to mention anyone's name because I don't want to not mention anyone's name. But I think all the young filmmakers, and even some of the older ones who are still making films, will always be inspirations. I hope they all have an opportunity to continue working, and I hope this award allows me to land more jobs and make the kind of films I want to.

Q: Tell me a little bit more about the documentary you're working on.

A: Barbara Berney is serving as producer and co-director. It's about integrating hospitals. It's a part of the civil rights movement people don't know about, because one of the most difficult things to explain and imagine is the fact that people of color weren't treated fairly or equally in general hospital care. A lot of people died because they couldn't get into the hospital because of their skin color. It took a long struggle.

So, it's about that part of the movement that needs to be told. We're hoping to get it out at the start of next year and that it might make some people aware of where this country comes from so we don't go back there.

Q: You've been in this industry for a number of decades ...

A: That sounds about right, and struggling ... (laughs)

Q: But you've continued going and are still making films. What words of advice do you have for filmmakers coming into the industry now?

A: Learn your craft. Read as much as you can. See as many films as you can as a student and get a minor that you can use to support yourself. Because there can be a lot of time in between films without work. But learn your craft, and try to say something.

(c)2017 Los Angeles Times

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