Black female directors in Hollywood are very few. But, as they say, it’s all about quality, not quantity. In spite of their small number in the industry black female directors have some true masterpieces. Let’s find them out together!
It is no news that Hollywood is a film industry hub. Nearly every Hollywood movie slays the box offices worldwide. It is kind of a huge pot filled with various concerns that movie makers try to tackle and spread messages around the world.
However, even this place remains quite a bias in terms of gender and color. It’s very sad to think so but it seems little has changed since Martin Luther King’s inspiring speech about equality between black and white, male and female.
Figures come to proof that film industry still remains generally white and male. Anyway, the small number of black female directors in Hollywood manage to earn incredible reviews.
Discover their name and movie list down below. Probably you would like to keep them on your radar as they dare to go against the white lies about equality and voice the truth.
Why is Hollywood So Prejudiced about Black Female Directors?
Today women of color succeed in Hollywood. However, to say that Hollywood will welcome you with wide open arms when you’re a black female actress or director will be a complete lie.
Moreover, film industry selects its crew quite carefully. Accordingly, gender and race bias remains one of the main problems in Hollywood. Here is why!
Actually, black female directors were quite productive throughout the twentieth century. But let’s look back at Hollywood’s movie industry. Black female directors have always been the most unnoticeable ones. Even though most of them contribute to the film industry it is apparent that the list of black female directors in Hollywood is very small.
According to the research carried out back in 2015 only 5.5% of the 886 filmmakers examined were black female directors. So, why is Hollywood this partial?
You might be surprised like I was when I learned that the main incentive for such prejudice is movie costs. Actually, filmmaking is very pricey and many executives want to have reliable ones as directors when they hand millions of dollars to them. Such approach lowers the reputation of black female directors in Hollywood.
One of the ways to involve them in filmmaking hustle and bustle is to make them more influential. It is very important to see black women as artists in Hollywood’s hierarchy. And the best way to solve diversity problem in Hollywood is to empower black female directors.
So, here is the list of those successful ones who made their path through hard times but could achieve Hollywood. Besides, find out the movie by each of them that took them to stardom as directors.
Black Female Directors in Hollywood #1: Ava DuVernay, “13th”
Regardless of all the obstacles in Hollywood, the film industry is actually stamped with talented black female directors. Ava DuVernay is one of them. She is an American film director, producer, screenwriter and film distributor.
I couldn’t leave Ava DuVernay out of my list. This lady was the first black filmmaker nominated for Golden Globe as the best director.
Initially, Ava was interested in journalism. Then she made up her mind to try herself in cinematography. DuVernay began to shoot documentaries. She chose documentaries because of their smaller budget. Besides she could learn the trade while doing it.
Ava DuVernay is also a social activist who seeks to empower black people. Two core themes of her works are about the sustained interrogation that engages with black women’s agency and subjectivity. The second one refers to the family. She finds it as a “source of resilience, memory, cultural transmission, generational continuity and dissonance, and a purveyor of all things affirming of black identity“.
Ava continues to advocate for black women empowerment and representation in the media and movie industry until now. Her “13th” comes to prove it.
The movie is focused on race in the United States criminal justice system. It is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery.
DuVernay’s documentary starts with the idea that 25 percent of the people in the world are incarcerated in the U.S. and argues that slavery is effectively perpetuated in the U.S. through mass imprisonment. The movie is quite an influential one and features several prominent activists, politicians, and public figures.
Black Female Directors in Hollywood #2: Julie Dash, “Daughters of the Dust”
Another black female director on my list is an American film director, writer, producer, website creator and music video and commercial director Julie Dash. She is one of those who shocked Hollywood. Here is how!
Julie is one of the graduates and directors born out of a time known as the L.A. Rebellion. The latter is a movie movement. In 1991 she realized feature film called “Daughters of the Dust”.
It became the first full-length film directed by an African-American woman that obtained general distribution in the United States of America. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Moreover, it won a cinematography award.
“Daughters of the Dust” is kind of a meditation on identity, the memory of black people, migration and bodies as refracted through a story about Gullah women.
Those women were residents of the Sea Islands off the South Carolina coast. In the early 1900s, they prepared to leave for the mainland. The cast of this movie comprises entirely African-American women. Today it has become one of the classics of independent cinema.
Black Female Directors in Hollywood #3: Angela Robinson, “Herbie: Fully Loaded”
Angela Robinson is another daring black female director in Hollywood. This American film and television director, screenwriter and producer wants all women to understand that ” in film industry women and people of color are few and far between, rarely run the show and are seen as threats to the job security of established white men.“ And she believes in the empowerment of black women in Hollywood.
In 2005 she directed the sports-comedy movie called ” Herbie: Fully Loaded”. It stars Lindsay Lohan as the youngest member of an automobile-racing family, Justin Long as her best friend and mechanic, Michael Keaton as her father, Breckin Meyer as her brother, David Collins as her second brother and Matt Dillon as a competing racer. The comedy grossed nearly $144 million all over the world.
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