Spike strikes deal for minorities’ work

'Hit People' among projects BFF will develop

NEW YORK — Viacom’s Spike TV cable network has struck a deal with the 25-year-old Black Filmmakers Foundation that will give Spike a first look at the work of young blacks, Asians and Latinos.

“We’re looking for projects that take you up to the edge and then push you over,” said Albie Hecht, president of Spike TV (formerly TNN).

BFF president Warrington Hudlin said Spike will take over the funding of his organization from the Ford Foundation.

One project in script development, said Hudlin, is “Big Hit People,” an animated half-hour that will be packed with satire and social commentary, produced by New York-based outfit the Goon Squad.

Hecht said he’s encouraging the BFF to push the boundaries of content because Spike has targeted as its main demo males 18-34, a group that will gravitate to programs that shock them and gross them out.

The filmmakers that BFF mentors “are working on programming that’s genre-neutral,” said Hudlin. “We’re doing reality shows and scripted programming and maybe even shows related to sports and games.”

Hudlin said the cost of making a movie on digital tape has dropped so dramatically that “there are no more financial barriers” to young people seeking to make their ideas visual. “We’ll help these filmmakers shape their ideas,” he said, “and act as a bridge between Spike TV and the independent community.”

In a special event at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, the BFF will celebrated its 25th year in showbiz.

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