The past 12 months have seen a great deal of progress in terms of diversity within the worlds of film and television. Though I was living in Italy for much of the past year, I was still able to keep up with extraordinarily successful shows headed by women of color such as How to Get Away with Murder and Jane the Virgin, all thanks to the internet. Globalization (and living in a European capital) allowed me to see Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated film, Selma, in English. Upon my return to the U.S., I saw the Sundance hit Dope in theaters, twice. I eagerly watched the trailers for the fall T.V. line-up and was pleased to see a number of actors of color. Just this week, it was announced that Spike Lee, one of film’s greatest auteurs who never receives much love from the Academy, would receive an honorary Oscar for his ground-breaking work. It’s safe to say 2015 has seen a number of good strides regarding diversity in media, both in front of and behind the camera.
Seeing people of color portraying complex characters in a variety of mediums, from indie films like Rick Famuyiwa’s Dope to documentary web series like Cecile Emeke’s Strolling, has really rekindled the joy I find in watching an excellent story unfold on screen. I have decided to end my writing hiatus (which was partially due to me being abroad and working on a documentary of my own) and go back to what first drew me to films: the opportunity to share my opinion and promote diverse voices in this field.
In the upcoming weeks, you can expect reviews on the films mentioned above, as well as Girlhood and A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. I may even throw in a T.V. review or two.