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The Paul Mooney Documentary


Paul Mooney reigns as the Godfather of Comedy. His comedic mastery is defiant, outrageous and uncompromising. Through his style of comedy, he continually and consciously addresses racial stereotypes, issues and tensions that permeate American society. For more than four decades, Paul Mooney was the best friend and writer for legendary comedian Richard Pryor and created some of the most memorable comedic sketches of all time. Most notably was the word association sketch on Saturday Night Live that Pryor did with Chevy Chase in 1975. 

Over the years, Mooney has made quite a name for himself as a comedian in his own right. Never one to back down or to side step the ugly realities of race relations, Mooney’s controversial brand of comedy slices right through political correctness and cultural niceties. This documentary will be told in Mooney's own words. There has never been a documentary produced about him, so this film will be the first time we will hear fully about his life growing up in the Bay Area, his close, brotherly relationship with Richard Pryor and other very well known comedians many of which Mooney help build their careers. He will open up about what it was like to be a black man in Hollywood during the 1960's, 70's, 80's and 90's and the trials and tribulations he encountered on the road to stardom.

It will be a gloves-off, no-holds barred documentary that will feature many of his celebrity friends such as Robin Williams, Whoppi Goldberg, Dave Chappelle and Eddie Murphy, various television executives as well as his family. Just knowing how raw Mooney can be, this film promises to raise eyebrows and engage spirited conversations when it's released.

Mooney has never sold out to the pressures of stardom and Hollywood. He has managed to "keep it real" for more than four decades. His material has always been relevant and even today, audiences are laughing and squirming in their seats just has they had decades before. While other comedians have faded out, been rubbed out and run out, Mooney is still viable, relevant, interesting and most of all funny.

Every contributor will receive an END CREDIT on the film.

Filmmakers Annette Freeman (NYWIFT Member) & Alejandro Smith are co-producers and co-directors of this film. They celebrate 35 years of combined documentary, television, film and cable experience. Their company Fire & Air Entertainment has been given complete access to Paul Mooney’s story from Mr. Mooney and his production company PM7 Entertainment. Our first shoot is scheduled for April 12-24, 2014 in Oakland, CA. Please donate what you’re able to. No contribution is too small. We need your support. Thank you.

Love & Light,
Annette & Alejandro


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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts