It’s no secret – the TV, film and cinematography industry is vastly in need of transformation.
Here in SA, last year’s Sisters Working in Film and Television or Swift report found that as much as 78% of these women feel that they are discriminated against because of their gender.
Sadly, broadening the focus doesn’t improve the image. Almost from the start, with the commercial, public screening of ten of the Lumière brothers' short films in Paris in 1895, filmmaking and the production of ‘moving pictures’ has been seen as the domain of the older, white men of money. But it’s time for a shakeup of note.
DuVernay is leading the pack in making that change by imagining a different Hollywood and indeed global film industry. Long lauded as the motivational movie maven we need, she’s a true Jill of all trades, as writer, producer, director and distributor of independent film.
DuVernay’s Twitter bio sums up exactly who she is:
A girl from Compton who got to make a Disney movie about finding light in a dark world.But her work on A wrinkle in time brings her to true superstar status as it makes her the first African-American woman to direct a movie with a budget over $100m. Now she’s looking to give others in the industry a much-needed leg up.
Although it's not out yet, ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is already disrupting Hollywood. Through our #CareerReadiness volunteer work at the #CaliforniaFilmCommission we heard a story about #AvaDuVernay and student interns on the set of #WrinkleInTime https://t.co/Y44rKQHq0t pic.twitter.com/dIYY9gGbUK— Bayha Group (@BayhaGroup) February 14, 2018
According to Variety, the Evolve Entertainment Fund and all-encompassing diversity initiative led by DuVernay, Garcetti and Lin is set to promote inclusion and offer exciting opportunities to those otherwise not given a chance to break into the industry.
Real change happens when we take tangible action, and that means giving young women and people of color opportunities in the industry early on so they have the chance to shape its future. - @ava— Film Independent (@filmindependent) February 12, 2018
We are proud to partner in the Evolve Entertainment Fund. https://t.co/G2EmHu6IFq
Ava DuVernay and the mayor of Los Angeles are teaming up to start a partnership that would fund Hollywood internships for women, people of color and those from low-income households https://t.co/gifvdrPtrF— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 13, 2018
That number will snowball, with DuVernay confirming a goal of 500 placements by 2020.
Great #filmmakers on #filmmaking.#WomenInFilm #AvaDuVernay #FilmHero pic.twitter.com/b7yARAr0Ip— FilmHero (@FilmHeroClub) February 12, 2018
Switching focus to the front of the lens, Marvel’s latest superhero story Black Panther is also making ‘movie diversity’ headlines, with The Independent's video interview with Black Panther's director Ryan Coogler explaining how it's bringing Afrofuturism into the mainstream:
The Guardian calls it the most radical superhero film yet as it goes beyond typical comic book movie stock to torpedo stereotypes left, right and centre with not only a strong African-American cast but also placing feminism on the front foot with Wakanda’s elite, all-female sub-Saharan African royal guardians in the same vein as the legendary Amazonian women warriors of Themyscira in Wonder Woman last year.
the 'black panther' runway show celebrated africa and body diversity https://t.co/cUf8h8yOjO pic.twitter.com/lR6QX9FqLP— i-D (@i_D) February 14, 2018
Interesting times behind the camera, let’s hope for more inclusion, equality and diversity in every aspect going forward!
"Figure out what you need to do to be the heroine of your own story" #AvaDuvernay #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/a9Zv2v3c0D— Jennifer Sluder (@jensluder) January 29, 2018