Filmmaker Cynthia Kao Has Concerns Whether Oscar Winning Short “Two Distant Strangers” By Netflix And NowThis News Plagiarized Her Work

Cynthia Kao, producer, filmmaker and comedian, in a TikTok video going viral has pointed out the similarities between a short film she made in 2016 and a short film that recently won an Academy Award.

Without making any direct allegations, Filmmaker Cynthia Kao notes how her film Groundhog Day For A Black Man and Two Distant Strangers, Oscar winner for Best Live Action Short Film, share plot themes while giving her audience an insight into the backstory.

In the aftermath of George Floyd‘s killing and the resultant protests, Kao says she was contacted by publication NowThis News in 2020 for permission to amplify her short film on their platform, owing to its topicality.

‘When a black man lives the same day over and over again, he tries changing his behavior to survive a police interaction,’ reads the description for Kao’s short film Groundhog Day For A Black Man on YouTube.

The permission email, which Kao shows on screen, mentions the channel would give her credit when sharing her film. “They ended up posting it to their Facebook and Twitter page,” Kao says in her TikTok.

“One year after NowThis posts my short, Netflix puts out a short called Two Distant Strangers on April 9, 2021… it’s about a Black man who lives the same day over and over again and tries to survive a police interaction,” she says in her TikTok.

Two Distant Strangers has been directed by Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe, distributed by Netflix and produced in association with companies Dirty Robber, NowThis and Six Feet Over. The film had received critical acclaim upon its release last year November and in April 2021, won an Oscar.

“I don’t know what happened, I’m not making any assumptions,” Kao ends her TikTok video saying.

Kao is a prominent award-winning short film director also known for other titles like If Men Had Periods It Wouldn’t Be Gross and Relationship Status. She currently works for Walt Disney TV Directing Program, as per her website bio.

Ever since her claims went viral, netizens have been outraging against NowThis for allegedly “ripping off” her work and passing it off as an original production. Comments under Two Distant Strangers on YouTube too have amassed multiple allegations against the short’s makers of “stealing” Kao’s idea.

Source: She The People

The Hypocrisy Of The MF DOOM Fan

MF DOOM deserves a college course dedicated to him. He feels like a puzzle, trapped in an enigma, bear-hugged by metaphor. Since the 1999 release of what can be considered his solo debut album, Operation Doomsday, MF DOOM has lived in a self-created mystical world on the opposite side of the universe from contemporary Hip Hop. He’s impossible to pigeonhole and incredibly tough to describe, because he assumes different characters constantly. His music is the best kind of bar-heavy, astoundingly vivid. Almost always unconventional song structure. Few hooks allowed. Let’s break it down…

Chris Rock Explains Why He Hates Civil Rights Movies: ‘They Make Racism Look Very Fixable’

Chris Rock sounded off on films that deal with Civil Rights struggles and said the issue with the majority of these films is that they “make racism look very fixable.” Rock said the stories his mother used to tell him about the Civil Rights Movement era make it clear these films should be “dirtier,” if they want to be accurate.

“I hate all Civil Rights movies,” Rock said. “Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the effort and they should exist. The problem is they only show the back of the bus and the lunch counter. They actually make racism look very fixable. They don’t get into how dysfunctional the relationships were in the ’40s and ’50s, white men would just walk in your house and take your food… it’s a predator-prey relationship. Do you think when it was time to rape, [white men] were raping white women? No. They would go and rape the women they could actually rape without going to jail for.”

“This shit is so much dirtier than any movie ever shows,” Rock continued. “My mother used to get her teeth taken out at the vet because you weren’t allowed to go to the dentist. No movie shows you that.”

Rock did not call out any Civil Rights movies by name, although his argument that such films “make racism look very fixable” were the same criticisms thrown at Best Picture winner “Green Book.” 

Source: IndieWire