There has been much talk over whether or not Oprah will run for President of the United States in the next election. Whatever your thoughts or views are concerning that, there is one thing no one can deny- she gave one hell of a speech!
Shout out to CBC for launching it’s “Breaking Barriers Film Fund”which acts as a resource for filmmakers who have historically been at a disadvantage in accessing financing and making their unique voices heard. This fund is meant to support underrepresented Canadian creators. Find out what you need to apply: Here.
Issa Rae is everything. She is one of the most exciting and talented women in the game right now. Most recently due to her success with her new HBO series “Insecure,” but she has been a favourite of mine for much longer than that.
Issa Rae is someone any aspiring web series developer should be taking note of. First, because she’s incredibly talented and hilarious, but also because she’s incredibly open about her process and journey getting to the level she’s at today. She even produced a series called INSIDE -Issa Rae Production where she gives an inside look at how the series and the projects she’s working on comes together. Wow, what a great resource and tool. If you’re someone aspiring to create a successful web series and need some inspiration- Issa is IT!
She started with an idea and minimal equipment, she had her friend hold the camera for her to shoot her first episode of “Awkward Black Girl” . Guess what? It is hilllarrrriiouss. It was the jump off point of her career. She didn’t wait for a big budget or for all the right pieces to come together- she just began with what she had.
If you haven’t seen Awkward Black Girl or Insecure- do yourself a favour. You can find the whole season of Awkward Black Girl on youtube or check out her new show “Insecure” on HBO. I would also encourage you to check out some interviews with her because all that comedy and drive doesn’t only express itself when she’s producing a web series- she’s also brilliant and funny in interviews as well. Word is that Issa Rae is working on a Sci- Fi Project and show about black teens. Find out more: Here.
I came across this kickstarter campaign and it gave me all the feels. It’s a film festival for documentary films about women athletes. In a time where the hype is at its highest for movies about fictional, bad ass women such as Superwoman, let’s not forget our own super women- the talented women and girls around the world competing in the sports they love! While the top men’s basketball players are signing hundred million dollar contracts, the Lebron James of the WNBA aren’t even pulling in a million. There is so much strength to be celebrated in real life, by real women – what a beautiful campaign to honour the fierce dedication and strength of women of all ages in sports. Those of us who are media makers and film buffs can see the opportunity, the necessity and the hunger for content like this. People want to see films and media celebrating the diversity of our strength. Check out their campaign. I hope you get inspired as I did.
Be sure you check out these incredible organizations for black women in film that act as a resource and community for black women filmmakers. Black Women Film even offers scholarship and membership opportunities. Also, if you are Canadian based and looking for a community closer to you- be sure to check out Black Women Film- Canada.
I hope these resources are helpful to you, please let us know if you know of another organization doing great work who we should feature that is helping to support and showcase women in film.
I love this post. Instead of talking about the ingrained sexism present in the film and television industry, I come bearing exciting and encouraging news- the best kind! The National Film Board of Canada has committed to allocating 50% of its production spending to women producers, writers, and generally just women led projects. They are making it a priority to invest in women- This is HUGE!
Word on the street is, over the next three years, the NFB is going to be on the lookout for women driven projects to invest in to support the goal of diversity and inclusion in the film industry in Canada.
I love to bring you such exciting news. I hope that it inspires you the way that it has me. Now is the time, more than ever, we need to be in communication and collaboration with each other to create amazing content. To learn more, go to the National Film Board of Canada. Comment below and let us know how you feel about this promise of resources to women filmmakers in Canada, and please share with all the creative boss ladies in your life who may need a little encouragement.
It’s hard to stay calm about Hidden Figures. Not only is the cast include Hollywood’s most talented leading female actresses, but the story itself is a remarkable, refreshing narrative that highlights the genius of black women- something not often seen on the big screen. Hidden Figures shines a light on the success and struggles of the real life African-American women responsible for one of NASA’s greatest accomplishments. The work of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson goes unacknowledged no more, as Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe play these incredible mathematicians and engineers who each had to transcend race and gender barriers to succeed.
This film is a tribute to the brilliance of women of colour- stories of remarkable women of colour are not hard to find, however they are rarely chosen for the big screen. We applaud those who saw this story as note worthy and hope that it’s success will set a precedence around portraying black women as the full, dynamic and intelligent women they have always been, rather than playing into a tired stereotype that demeans them. I hope that Hidden Figures is just the beginning of many more stories to come shining out from the shadows of history to make their debut on the big screen.
The film has received outstanding amount of support thus far, even First Lady, Michelle Obama hosted a special screening of the movie at the White House. Hidden Figures won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the 23rd SAG awards. Their acceptance speech is enough to make you want to watch the movie.
And of course, if you haven’t already – Check out the Trailer here: