Robert Townsend's struggles as a black actor in the late '70s and early '80s provided fodder for Hollywood Shuffle (1987), the first film he wrote, directed, and starred in. Townsend plays Bobby Taylor, an aspiring actor who finds his race a complicating factor when it comes to casting, either because he's derided for not being "black enough" or because he's placed in woefully stereotypical roles.

A cult favorite and a beacon of hope in the world of indie cinema, Townsend's film still functions as a strong comedy and conversation piece about racial stereotyping in Hollywood (though the film has some issues when it comes to gender).

Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
Saturday, April 16
8 p.m.
200 Hudson St, New York
Tickets $12