When Black Women Direct: Queen Latifah Gets Women of Color Behind the Camera

Minority directors are underrepresented in film at a degree of three to one, while women are underrepresented at a rate of seven to one, according to UCLA’s 2018 Hollywood Diversity Report. There is clearly room for progress here in terms of equality, especially for women who are black or of another minority identity. Rapper, singer, actress, label president, author, real estate developer and entrepreneur Queen Latifah is out to shift the scales; she recently teamed up with Tribeca Studios and Marc Pritchard, Procter and Gamble’s chief brand officer, to launch the Queen Collective (TQC). TQC has a goal of “accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera.” Two inaugural documentaries backed by TQC premiered in April 2019 at the Tribeca Film Festival, and they are now streaming on HULU.

“I would be remiss if I did not reach back and help black women get where I am today,” Latifah told The Root. In conjunction with the TV and film production company Latifah co-launched in 1995, Flavor Unit, TQC provided two black women with financing, production support, mentorship and distribution opportunities for their content. The first films are Ballet After Dark, directed by B. Monét, and If There Is Light, directed by Haley Elizabeth Anderson.

Ballet After Dark tells the story of a woman who survives a traumatic experience and goes on to help others do the same through therapeutic dance. If There Is Light chronicles a teenager’s experience as her mother works to move their family out of the shelter system.

Read more at Philanthropy Women.

I’m a writer who runs the Ask Artists interview series. Find interviews here along with some other stories. More of my work: https://linktr.ee/JuliaTravers

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