10 Black Women Making Moves In Film

by Arielle Loren

In the words of Audre Lorde, “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

Over the last few months, I’ve read countless critiques of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, a creative work that falls short of providing an authentic black female voice. But unlike many of my peers, I never got upset. Stockett is a white woman, she can only write fantasies of black women’s truth. She owes us nothing. She’s a writer, and she can write as she sees fit. Despite this fact, thousands of powerful and intelligent black women have rallied to rip her work to shreds, signing petitions, writing articles, and catalyzing all sorts of intellectual hoopla in hopes that mainstream white audiences will recognize Stockett’s work as a failure. At the end of the day, we’ve failed. We’ve invested energy in critiques instead of empowerment. The book won’t change. The film will continue to draw acclaim. And thus, we’re back to where our focus should be: supporting black women telling our truths.

Below are ten women making moves in the film industry. In lieu of complaints, let’s pledge our money to fund their productions. Let’s tweet this article to spread the news. Let’s share these women’s endeavors on Facebook. Let’s use our blogs and media outlets to promote their work. Let’s be proactive in putting our stories on film instead of retroactively critiquing Hollywood’s failures.

We don’t need “more” black female filmmakers until we can support the women already here.

Ava DuVernay is the founder of AFFRM, the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement, a new theatrical distribution entity that releases quality independent African-American films through simultaneous screenings in select cities. She directed the award-winning film, I Will Follow (2010), which tells the story of a black woman struggling with the death of a loved one as she moves out the home they once shared. DuVernay also directed and produced three network music documentaries: BET’s first original music documentary, “My Mic Sounds Nice,” a definitive history of female hip-hop artists, Essence’s two-hour concert film “Essence Music Festival 2010,” and TV One’s “Faith Through The Storm,” a documentary about women in New Orleans who have reclaimed their lives after personal devastation during Hurricane Katrina. Simply put, she’s a powerhouse, and needs your support. How you can help: Go to www.affrm.com and click “Join The Journey” for a variety of volunteer opportunities.

Nikyatu Jusu is a writer/director originally bred in Atlanta, Georgia, but pursuing a film career in New York. Fresh out of NYU with a MFA in Filmmaking, Nikyatu already touts a Director’s Guild Honorable Mention, HBO Short Film Award, and JT3 Artist Award for her short film, African Booty Scratcher. Her thesis film, Say Grace Before Drowning, premiered on HBO and tells the story of an 8-year-old black girl meeting her African Refugee mother–who is teetering on the brink of insanity–for the first time in six years. Currently, Nikyatu is working on a feature film about a suicidal man who assists others in completing their suicides entitled F*ck My Life. Sure to break many barriers and represent us in many genres, Nikyatu is a rising change maker in film. How you can help: Keep up with Nikyatu’s work at www.nikyatu.com and follow her on Twitter @nikyatu

Issa Rae is a graduate of Stanford University, where she produced and directed four theatrical productions, including two stage adaptations of Spike Lee Films. While at Stanford, she took time off to attend the New York Film academy to hone her filmmaking skills. Upon graduating, she produced various music videos and shorts. Her most popular web series, “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,”  just raised $56,259 on Kickstarter and touts almost a million views on YouTube. A true Internet sensation, Issa Rae and her production team self-funded the series prior to Kickstarter. In order to improve the production quality of the show, they’re still accepting support. How you can help: Go to www.awkwardblackgirl.com and click the “Donate” button.

Dee Rees is the director and writer behind Pariah, a black lesbian coming-of-age film that premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. She’s also written and directed several short films, including Orange Bow (centering on a teenage boy) and Colonial Gods (a story about a Somali and Nigerian man’s friendship). Dee’s work has aired on the BBC, and earned her a fellowship with the Tribeca Film Institute. How you can help: Show your support for Pariah on Facebook and look out for its theatrical release.

Yvonne Shirley is a MFA candidate at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate film program. She’s honed her talents and skills under the tutelage of Spike Lee and Sam Pollard, along with garnering various awards, including a Fox Television Scholarship and Warner Brothers Production grant. Yvonne is directing and producing a film entitled POSES, which tells the story of a picture-perfect black family that deals with an intersection of race, class, and sexuality. How you can help: Yvonne has raised $1,140 out of $15,000 to fund the film, but needs the support of women like you to complete it. Go to POSES’ IndieGoGo campaign to pledge your support.

Tracy Taylor is an award winning writer, director and producer from Chicago, Illinois. Her film, Walking Sunshine, won the 2004 BET Rap-It-Up/Black AIDS short film competition, was nominated for a 2005 NAACP Image Award, and won the 2005 Cable Positive award for “Outstanding Original Movie.” Tracy also directs and produces the web series “The New Twenties,” which examines the lives of 30-something-year old friends that are navigating through real world issues they had not faced in their twenties. How you can help: Watch “The New Twenties” and share the videos online!

Alexis Casson is a director, cinematographer, and editor. She was raised by a mother who has an undying love for the power of education and art. After graduating from Wesley College in 2008, she co-founded The Artchitects with DJ Mursi Layne, an artist collective that offers services such as videography, photography, and post-production. Currently, she’s directing Mix, Match, and Blend, a documentary about five female deejays and their experiences with sexism, succeeding in a male-dominated industry, and balancing family/relationships. How you can help: Show some love to The Artchitects on Facebook  and follow their work on Twitter @theartchitects.

Maureen Aladin, Ella Turenne, and Jessica Hartley are the founders of SistaPAC Productions, an entertainment production company that focuses on film, television, new and interactive media. Together, the three women wrote, directed, and produced “Kindred,” a dramatic web series focused on three black women tackling life-changing issues such as sexual harassment, infidelity, drug abuse, deadly diseases, racism, and homosexuality. Like many writers, Maureen, Ella, and Jessica experienced a polite rejection from a major network saying “we like the writing, but the series just isn’t a fit for our network at the moment.” Determined to bring “Kindred” to life, the women launched the series online but haven’t been able to produce additional episodes in over a year. How you can help: Write and tweet your support for “Kindred” to SistaPAC on Facebook and Twitter @kindredseries. Stay tuned for production updates.

Know additional black female filmmakers that need support? Drop a shout out in the comments or share your favorites from the list above!

  • Yoyo

    “African Booty Scratcher” was very insulting to American Blacks. We were ignorant monsters in that film!

  • whilome

    Considering that we hurled that insult to each other and others from the diaspora, that seems fitting.

    I read an account written by a Native man in Florida and he kept talking about his mistreatment by “the whites and blacks”. Over and over, the “whites and blacks”. And I was struck by how seldom Black folks are considered “the Man” and the powerful harasser. I had to suck it up. It is what it is when the shoe is on the other foot.

  • moi

    I just watched it and I think it was great. The focus of the film was the experience of that family. I can tell you from personal experience (having Black parents with accents) that this is a reality for many immigrants when they come here. The truth is her classmates WERE ignorant monsters. The man in the restaurant WAS an ignorant monster. And those characters were not fabricated from thin air. Not every movie or thing depicting African American characters is making a general statement about Black Americans as a whole. If those people did not represent you, I don’t see why you should be insulted.

  • Hey!


    Based on your logic, general steriotypes are ok in the name of making a statement. Would you be ok with an entire film of sassy baby-mamas, thugs, and scarf-wearing mammy figures? All in the name of proving a point…

  • http://AirInDanYell.tumblr.com Erin

    Thanks for posting this list! I’m planning on going to film school to gain my MFA and this list is very inspiring. I’ll definitely check their work out and show my support. :)

  • SAA

    Agree with Whilome and Moi, “African Booty Scratchers” was not insulting to American Blacks, sorry Yoyo. Being in the same shoes as Moi, I can speak from personal experience as well that it is a very real reality. I’ve only ever heard the phrase “African Booty Scratchers” it come out of the mouths of American Blacks. Love Issa Rae!!

  • Nire

    I think that its great that there are more black film makers. I also love that there are more black shows online since I don’t care for some of the shows shown on TV.

  • jamesfrmphilly

    good luck and please keep your mind free and black…….we don’t need more tyler perry

  • http://ananseproduuctions.tumblr.com Katrina Mitchell

    next time, I will be on this list! I’m a director/writer/producer. A few of my films are on my tumblr blog: ananseproductions.tumblr.com

    Remember my name because you will be seeing more of me soon!

  • Kim

    I nominate Chantal Eyong , she is currently filming her independent film called Jackpot, which she wrote, produced and is directing. I have a role in the film and I believe she should be on this list…she’s on her way to greatness.

  • Bisous

    Wow. I hope to create like many of the women who are on this list their work is phenomenal and I try to suppurt anyone who has a powerful message and ethics behind their projects!

  • http://www.spentthefilm.com Phyllis

    Hello, here’s another filmmaker to add to the list: Phyllis Toben Bancroft

    Award-winning filmmaker Phyllis Bancroft has been successful as a writer/director and producer in several disciplines, including film, television, theater, and the Internet.

    She is the recipient of BET Network’s prestigious ‘Lens on Talent” award. With the $100,000 award she co-wrote, produced and directed BURNED, an emotionally wrenching film that tells the story of a female fire fighter and Air Force veteran who returns from the Iraq war suffering from PTSD. BURNED is scheduled to air on BET on October 2, 2011 at 10:00 p.m.

    Previous to BURNED Ms. Bancroft produced SPENT, a heart breaking story of a woman whose consumerism leads to tragedy. The film is the recipient of numerous honors and has been screened at more than 30 film festivals. Honors include a “Best Short Film” award, being screened at Lionsgate’s annual screening series (“Expose Your Shorts”), and being named a Finalist at the USA Film Festival.

    In addition to producing a total of five short films Phyllis has also produced the web series ERNIE’S GIRLS, a comedic look at modern marriage and fatherhood through the life of ‘Ernie,’ a husband and father who is teeming with testosterone and drowning in a sea of estrogen. Hilarious and moving, it has been the recipient of several honors, including the 2010 L.A Web Series award for “Outstanding Achievement” and being an official selection of the 2010 Pan African Film Festival.

    Ms. Bancroft has studied at some of the most prestigious cultural institutions, including the AFI, where she received an MFA in Producing; Columbia University, where she studied Advanced Film Production with ‘Indy’ legend James Schamus (Focus Features); and Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab.

    Born in Hartford, Connecticut, she began her entertainment career with acting studies at New York’s prestigious Circle in the Square and Circle Rep theaters.
    Her first directing credits were in theater. She has directed over 25 plays, many of which she developed and work-shopped at venues that included Playwrights Horizons, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Harold Clurman Theater.

    As an artist her goal is to use the various media, including film, television, theater, and the Internet to entertain audiences while shedding light on topics close to her heart.

  • http://sadestartingover.blogspot.com Sade

    I love Issa Rae/ ABG. Just had to get that off my chest <3

  • http://thespelmandropout.wordpress.com/ The Spelman Dropout

    I want to see the movie “I Will Follow” so bad but I don’t have the gas to go see it! Ugh why do good looking black films have to be limited?

  • Felix Endara

    One more up-and-coming, super talented filmmaker: Angela Tucker, who made her feature-length documentary debut with (A)SEXUAL earlier this Summer, and whose most current project is the National Black Public Consortium’s web series BLACK FOLK DON’T…Check our her work here:



  • RealityCheck

    YES !!!! more articles like these !!!
    * and high five to all the lovely ladies with locks*

    Thank You !!!

  • Christa Miller

    I met Chinonye Chukwu in the Sea-Tac airport in April, and her story resonated with me, in part because of its focus on immigration and in part because her personality and drive were so strong as I talked with her. You can read more about her and her film project here: http://alaskalandmovie.com/director.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ReBecca-Theodore-Vachon/555868096 ReBecca Theodore-Vachon

    “I Will Follow” comes out on DVD 8/23. Excellent film.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/ReBecca-Theodore-Vachon/555868096 ReBecca Theodore-Vachon

    Great list! Will have to check out some of these projects…

    In response to the author Ms. Loren, I was happy to see our black and intelligent sisters raise their voices in dissent. The mission can be two-fold: to support our black female directors AND to send the message to Hollywood that some of us aren’t drinking the kool-aid. The industry is guilty of serving us revisionist, brain-dead films about our history and it’s within our rights to let them know. Change doesn’t start with a whisper, it starts with a shout!

  • Erica

    “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” ~Maya Angelou

    Kudos to all the ladies on this list. Kick ass ladies…kick ASS!

    Love you Niky!

  • http://www.yellokat.wordpress.com YelloKat

    I have an upcoming documentary, “Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights”. I’ve posted a rough cut of the work-in-progress here:


    Please support the film by sharing with others, and/or donating at my website (in the link). No donation is too small. Thanks!

  • mr. alabama

    And please don’t forget the great Christine Swanson!
    All About You and All About Us

  • W.Apples

    Also, check out up and coming filmmaker Channing Godfrey Peoples! She earned an MFA in Film Production from University of Southern California. She is the 2011 winner of the Rockstone Foundation’s BWE Web Series Screenplay Competition so watch out for her upcoming web series “First Offense” – http://www.rockstone.org/contest.htm
    You can also watch her first film “Carry Me Home,” a documentary about African American funeral traditions here: http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/carry_me_home/

  • mrs. dupree

    Agree with both Moi and SAA, me and my Haitian friends were called Haitian Booty Scratcher by African Americans. when we were younger.

  • Edward

    I applaud the ladies in your article. Their achievements are to be commended. As are those of Award-winning filmmaker Phyllis Tobin-Bancroft.

    This writer/director/producer is the recipient of BET Network’s prestigious, $100,000 ‘Lens on Talent” award. She recently co-wrote, produced and directed the film BURNED, which is scheduled to air on BET on October 2, 2011 at 10:00 p.m.

    Ms.Tobin-Bancroft also produced the multi-award winning short SPENT, which has screened at over 30 film festivals and been named “Best Short Film” and a Finalist at the USA Film Festival.

    She also produces the award winning web series ERNIE’S GIRLS, which received the 2010 L.A Web Series Festival award for “Outstanding Achievement” as well as being named an official selection of the 2010 Pan African Film Festival.

    Ms. Tobin-Bancroft received an MFA in Producing from the American Film Institute and also studied at Columbia University and Lincoln Center’s Directors Lab.

    She has directed over 25 plays at such venues as Playwrights Horizons, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Harold Clurman Theater.

    This lady definitely deserves to be the subject of a feature story on African-American women making moves in Hollywood.

    ↑ Reply

  • Julie Lewis

    Today’s thought: “All art requires courage.” —Anne Tucker

  • LurkerG

    This list inspires me! Love these ladies, their drive and ambition and their works. Thank you for this!

  • Saul_E_Adwele

    Abundance of love and respect to these sisters, for being strong talently creative and refreshing…
    Keep trying to take Hollywood by storm
    Their stories, scrpits and visions need to be heard and seen… Period…
    Saul E_Adwele

  • http://twitter.com/SheThrives11 E. Wilson

    I would also mention Tanya Hamilton, the Black female director of “Night Catches Us”

  • Annabelle Louis

    To the current and future film makers please take the time to make quality film, webisodes and series. The stuff that I’m seeing needs tweeking the acting is subpar. Other than that keep up the good work I will be tuning in.

  • Tiffany

    With the exception of Issa Rae, almost all of these projects center around some issue of so-called black pathology. Why can’t we just have more regular projects centered around black people that don’t involve melodramatic sob stories about down-low dudes, crack, AIDS, real (and perceived) racism, poverty, etc? I would love to see just a regular story with people doing regular things. I’m serious. I would be more entertained watching a film about a black dude going to the store with his friends than I would watching the Precious sequels described in this article.

  • edub

    Great article and nice highlights!

  • LemonNLime

    When is something a stereotype versus a character description? I’ve often wondered this. Do the film make ALL black Americans look bad, if so how? There were only what, 2, in the film. Plus it seemed to me that the African girl in the film was just as catty as the other people.

    As for the term “African booty scratcher”, that was something black kids called other black kids in grade school. I won’t lie, it was an insult and when I say insult I MEAN insult to be called African in grade school. So I can understand where the story line comes from. But in the same light there would be African kids who talk down to the black kids and try to say crap about them being the decedents of slaves.

    I believe much of it is a cross cultural confusion much of which could be overcome with simple conversation and understanding.

    On a side note the little kid who plays her brother is so cute! And her dress was beautiful!

  • Malcolm Johnson

    This is a good list. Watch out for Director Safiya Songha and Mpire Films:


  • Yvette Ganier

    I HUGE amount of love to Alaska born Nigerian bred Philly found filmmaker, Chinonye Chukwu, currently in post production for her first feature, Alaskaland.

  • http://www.tumblr.com/dintheverb Din Tolbert

    Lori Parquet and Esosa Edosomwan are definitely teetering on the verge. Both graduates of Cornell University, these sisters are multi-talented, putting in work in front of and behind the camera, as well as writing for both stage and film. Durin undergrad, they did an amazing adaptation/mashup of Shange’s “For Colored Girls…” and Mason’s “For Black Boys…”

  • Contessa

    Phyllis Toben-Bancroft. The first winner of BET’s Lens on Talent. Her movie BURNED will air in October ’11 on BET. It tells of a Black woman who served in the Iraq war as an Air Force Vet. She returns to work as a female fire fighter with PTSD

  • Contessa

    I absolutely loved Ava’s I Will Follow. So glad I was in one of the areas that previewed it. And Issa Rae’s ABG….is three words..Ordinary..Genius..Awesome..Relatable. My bad thats 4..Im Awkward :))ordinarily geniously made…lol that made 4…Im AWKWARD.

  • http://rashettasweddingmovie.com Bunny Brown

    Check out actress turned filmmaker Almayvonne Dixon. She co- directed 3 The Hard Way, a tween short. Produced under her Stone Archer banner The Trainer. She recently was an Executive Producer on the upcoming short film, It’s Just Thanksgiving dinner. And she’s currently in pre-production with her first full length feature film Rashetta’s Wedding that she co wrote with her partner S.K. Dayne.

  • Janell

    The new 20′s serioes is really really really good . Everytime it ended I was like NOOOOO !!!!

  • Courtney

    I love Issa!!! Thanks for this article, am going to check some of the other ladies out as well. THIS is what we need more of – we can’t see more black women in the media without supporting them and getting the word out!

  • http://www.africanwomenincinema.org Africa Women in Cinema

    Bravo! Also check out the African Women in Cinema Blog for interviews and updates from Africa: http://africanwomenincinema.blogspot.com

  • RSK

    Alison Duke, a Canadian filmmaker, is another one to watch. I can’t wait to see her new documentary Walking in Victor’s Shoes! She also creates fictional films, music videos, and anything else that can be burned onto DVD!
    Check out alisonduke.com

  • Bradford

    I had the good fortune to see Ms. Bancroft’s newest film, BURNED, recently and was really knocked out by the story, the direction and particularly the outstanding performance of Bianca LaVerne Jones. It is a shame that the public rarely gets to see such incredible short films, so I urge everyone who reads this to tune in to BET on October 2nd to view this important film by an upcoming talented African-American female filmmaker!

  • lizzy

    Just wanted to say “wow”, thank you for writing this article. It is perfect.

  • http://www.tinamcelroyansa.com Tina McElroy Ansa

    Hey!! Over here! My filmmaker husband Jonee’ Ansa and I (Tina McElroy Ansa) have been working on the independent film adaptation of my first novel “Baby of the Family” for a number of years. As with many of the black filmmakers noted here, financing is the blockade. Studios were very interested in this NYT Notable Book of the Year adaptation, but of course, could not accept a black child/char. at the center of the movie. We continue the work! Twitter: @downsouthfilm @TinaMcElroyAnsa Thanks!

  • http://MyBridge4Life.com Jocelyn

    Phyllis Toben is an authentic voice and her name and profile should be added to your list. Her newest production “Burned” is a gripping and gritty story of a female fire fighter and AirForce veteran suffering from PTSD. http://www.phylliteproductions.com/burned/www.burnedthefilm.com/Details.html

  • http://www.afilmforchange.com Brenda Robinson

    Please add Bridgette Wright to this list of filmmakers. Her short film CHANGE she produced is doing wonderful things and just partnered with Frameline.org (Youth In Motion) to have her film distributed in 365 LA Unified Schools. http://www.afilmforchange.com

  • Osizwe
  • Liz

    Tina Mabry, director and writer of Mississippi Damned, an intense lesbian coming-of-age story. She’s young, talented, intelligent and a visionary.

    From her IMDb page: Tina has always maintained a strong sense of self and an immovable determination. Growing up in the small town of Tupelo, Mississippi, Tina relied on the films her mother introduced to her and her writing to take her to new places. While attending the University of Mississippi with the plans of using her degrees in Psychology and Political Science to help further her dreams of becoming an attorney, Tina started a new novel, Seven Days, and after three years she finally completed it. Upon watching the films Boy’s Don’t Cry and Love and Basketball, Tina realized that she could no longer deny her passion for film. It was then that Tina became determined to leave Mississippi and move to Los Angeles. One month after moving to Los Angeles, Tina received her acceptance letter to the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. During her three years at USC, Tina developed into an innovative director and an even more skilled writer. She completed her thesis film, Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan, of which the script received the Jeffrey Jones Writing Award at USC in the Fall of 2004 and the film has been accepted into twelve film festivals. In addition to this and to receiving the Edward Small Directing Award, a thesis film she co-produced at USC, The Slowdown, aired on Showtime’s Black Filmmaker Showcase in February 2004. Tina is currently co-writing a feature screenplay for But I’m a Cheerleader’s director, Jamie Babbit. Her short film, Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan, will air on Showtime in February 2006.

  • http://www.aleliabundles.com A’Lelia Bundles

    Thanks very much for this informative article, Ms. Loren. Last week in the midst of all the “hoopla” about The Help, we created a Facebook page called “Helping Ourselves” where we’re posting books, movies, plays by and about black women that we love and that we’d like to see published, produced, etc. I’ve just posted your article on our page and invite you and other to take a look, “like” us and post suggestions.
    Search for us under “Helping Ourselves” (listed as a “cause”) and at
    A’Lelia Bundles

  • http://www.aleliabundles.com A’Lelia Bundles

    Thank you, Ms. Loren for this very informative article. A week ago we created the “Helping Ourselves” Facebook page to share books, movies, plays and documentaries that we love and books, movies, etc that we’d like to see published and produced by and about black women. I’ve just posted a link to this article to the page and invite you and your readers to visit our page and share your suggestions.
    Search on FB for “Helping Ourselves,” which is listed as a “cause” or click on
    A’Lelia Bundles

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Sykes/1065177536 Ashley Sykes

    @tiffany THANK YOU! i just had this conversation with my mom. why cant black people make movies that arent depressing as hell? why cant we have a black super hero movie,sci fi,horror,or fantasy movie? im so sick and tired of everything being about single moms,baby daddies,hiv,divorces,racism,gang violence,daddy wasnt there ect. its so tired and depressing. even with books written by black people. i have like 8 books written by black women and each and every one is tragic and depressing. why cant we have a black harry potter or something?

    id be impressed if i saw more movies that didnt center around race or emotional issues. imma need to see some star treks,inceptions,twilights,caption americas,sucker punches,avatars,mission impossibles,trons,resident evils but dipped in chocolate. seriously. damn not every movie has to make you cry. i’d love to see more out of the black box movies.

  • MarloweOverShakespeare

    This clears up all the TV/film skepticism/pessimism/cynicism/worries/definitely-seeking-out-independent-projects-from-now-on chaos in my head.

    Thanks Arielle (and commenters providing links). Keep up the great work, it keeps us fresh.

    Love. Peace. And cheddar cheese.

  • http://www.wideangleiris.com Rollan Schott

    Euzhan Palcy, who made the exquisite ‘Sugar Cane Alley’, hasn’t released a film since 2007.

  • http://twitter.com/Philly_Kazia Mommy On The Go

    dream hampton and Reagan Gomez.

  • Pingback: Twitted by PerezMillas

  • Juliana Harris

    I’d like to add two awesome chicks to this list.  They are currently making the new webseries “Queen Hussy” and also work as filmmakers at Double7 Images.  Hannelore Williams and Nicole Sylvester.
    Here are links to their Bios and their new show:

  • Susan

    I will gladly give extra exposure to these very talented women of color. I look forward to see their stories on film. I’m just thankful they will not be the same stories told from a generation ago.

  • Duchess

    This article is awesome, and very encouraging! I’m more into theater than film, and I’d like to see an article about successful black women in that realm. Lynn Nottage is a very powerful figure.

  • Dan Copeland

    To my friends and supporters, I am diligently working on a major horror film project that is slated to start production in Atlanta in August 2011. The film has a perfect blend of gore and humor with an ending that offers a perfect setup to a sequel option.
    I am leading an investment campaign for 1124 Mark Productions who makes films that target all audiences with a mass appeal with well known cast members. I am currently seeking SERIOUS investors for this movie project.

    If you’re interested (or can refer someone that might be interested) and want to learn more about this business opportunity, contact me by phone at (404) 897-3489 or email at [email protected]

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Prolific-Jones/502597165 Timothy Prolific Jones

    I cannot express how much it pleases me to see “Kindred” recognized in this forum. It is a great series, and I hope to see it pick back up with the support of Clutch’s readers. SistaPAC has a reputation for creating the kinds of works that we wished were on television or on the silver screen. Let’s reward these sisters for producing quality programming. Often we complain that there need to be alternatives to what’s out, and as you can see in this post, there are plenty. Support them.

  • http://www.phylliteproductions.com Darla

    Here’s a trailer from a shooting star. I’m sure everyone on this page will appreciate the work of Phyllis Bancroft, former theater director, now film director.


  • http://twitter.com/deandrathagurl ♫✩♥dєαηdяαтнαgυɾℓ™✩♫

    Wow! I commend these women for representing themselves on their own terms, as Hollywood doesn’t often get it right. I’m happy to see this, as I hadn’t heard of most of these women before. I’ll have to check them out. I’d like to mention that I also create music and comedy. I have a comedy web series on YouTube called “DeandraThaGurl Presents”. (Please check it out at http://www.youtube.com/DeandraThaGurl) I’m also writing a tv series that I hope to shop to networks.

  • Alexandra

    I agree Tiffany, & Ashley. Some Black filmmakers have made some great works, but I do notice that a lot tend to lean towards depressing Black issues. I’m happy these women are doing what they love, but I think that’s why Ms. Issa and her show gained so much popularity. Her ABG series is refreshing, funny and not about a depressing ‘black story’. Nevertheless, still a great list.

  • http://www.phylliteproductions.com Darla

    Ernie’s Girls, http://www.erniesgirls.com, is funny, too. Please check it out! It’s also a female driven project.

  • http://blog.trushots.com Trudy

    Please know how much LIFE this post has given me. I’m a still image photographer, but I’m interested in film as well. The first paragraph in this post is poignant. Support those who share your vision instead of bashing those who simply cannot share your vision or your story. They can’t. So focus on those who can and help them be successful.

    However, I do UNDERSTAND those who had rage or upset about The Help. Very few people are going to approach a project like that with a clear head because I don’t think it was meant for that anyway. It was designed to provoke, so that is the response that will occur. However, your clarity and focus in the first paragraph is where everyone should be intellectually and emotionally now that the steam has settled down. The focus should be on uplifting these talented Black women, IF in fact they are telling stories that we want to see, hear…experience. Our stories.

    This is the best list post that I’ve read in a while. Thanks again. I’m very inspired.

  • Pingback: Not a Review of The Help | Nuñez Daughter

  • http://www.mypublicist.biz Angela

    Jennifer Harper, a very talented Screen writer and women of color in film has a major horror film project that is slated to start production in Atlanta, 2011. The film has a perfect blend of gore and humor with an ending that offers a perfect setup to a sequel option.
    I am involved in an investment campaign for 1124 Mark Productions who makes films that target all audiences with a mass appeal with well known cast members. I am currently seeking SERIOUS investors for this movie project.

    If you’re interested (or can refer someone that might be interested) and want to learn more about this business opportunity, contact me by phone at (424) 204.2203 or email @ [email protected]

  • Political Pete

    One glaring omission is Tina Mabry. Other than that, great writeup.

  • http://myfirstfeaturefilm.tumblr.com/ Nikyatu

    Agreed. Tina Mabry, Caran Hartisfield, Sayeeda Clarke…These women have won numerous awards for their work. I’m so honored and humbled to be on this list…

  • sli

    Thanks. I will definitely support these women. I wish this article had over 250 comments.

  • http://www.phylliteproductions.com Darla

    There is a great trailer for an upcoming film from a new filmmaker, Phyllis Bancroft on October 2, 2011 at 11:00 pm EST. Check out the trailer at http://www.burnedthefilm.com

  • NS

    Yoruba Richen is an excellent documentary film maker!

  • http://kathleencfennessy.blogspot.com/ Kathy Fennessy

    Even established filmmakers like Darnell Martin and Kasi Lemmons could use more support. Disappointed by the number of people who slept on “Cadillac Records” and “Talk to Me.” They deserve the funding to continue to make films on that scale.

  • http://www.NewUrbanCinema.com T. Steele

    Surprised Mary Redmon isn’t on the list. She’s directed 2 feature films in the last year with Prime Factor Films, Inc. in Atlanta. “The List” and “Checkmate”. She didn’t go to NYU or any other “name” school, but there’s no other woman who’s done that in Atlanta that I know of . . . ever. Check them out at http://www.PrimeFactorFilms.org/

  • http://www.fadetoblackentertainment.com Fade to Back Entertainment

    Roni Brown is a budding filmmaker filming her first feature and seeking funding for her second titled Fire in the Pulpit, want to find out more about it? Click here http://www.fadetoblackentertainment.com

    watch her short film How to Make a baby http://vimeo.com/17555222


  • http://lianespicer.com Liane Spicer

    Arlene Gibbs (Jumping the Broom) is facing down the odds by writing screenplays about black women in a Hollywood climate that insists the only audience worth catering to is young, male and white. Support the filmmakers, support the writers, support their work.

  • http://emarjayfilms.blogspot.com Ashley Morrow

    Hey all! Emarjay Films (pronounced- MRJ) is on the rise! We are three young women that attend the University of Florida and have a passion for filmmaking! We’ve been posting little videos we’ve been doing around campus on out blog (emarjayfilms.blogspot.com) and, with our little “moneys” that we collected, were able to buy Emarjay Paraphernalia! We were so proud of ourselves and hopefully we can come up in this world! The world needs more African American Female Filmmakers! I’m so happy to be apart of this movement! Keep Pushing Ladies!!!

  • Pingback: Network for Women of Color: Urbane Perspective Media + Lifestyle: Interactive Lifestyle

  • http://gravatar.com/ibwff ibwffAdrienne

    Frances Bodomo who is wrapping up filming for BONESHAKER starring BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s Quvenzhane Wallis – http://boneshakerfilm.tumblr.com/

  • http://www.sidpo.com Sid Powell

    Sid Powell is the NAACP nominated Screenplay writer of “Somebody’s Child” starring Lynn Whitfield, Michael Jai White, Byron Minns, and Clifton Powell. She is also the Founder of Women Changing Everything in Film. Contact JP Hardy if you are a woman in film that wants to get on board with W.C.E.F. and truly make some changes in the industry where women are concerned. All you have to do is send an email with your contact information and let us know you’re in the industry and you want to join the movement.

  • http://www.themissingpiecellc.com Danita Byrd

    Just wanted to give a shout out to Ms.Nia Hill. She received a Grammy and a NAACP Image award for Executive Producing Sunday Best. Currently she’s producing several projects. Look her up!

  • Rhea

    Did you end up going to school for your MFA? I am currently apply to schools for my MFA and this comment is EXACTLY what I would have written…very inspirational.

Latest Stories

Watch Chanel Carroll Parody Beyonce’s ‘Partition’ in ‘Tuition’ Song


Hero Alert: Darnell Taylor Saves Family After Mother Purposely Drives Into River


Major Retailers Sell Out of ‘Mimi Shower Rods’


Black Journalist Wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize

Read previous post:
Mr. Nice Guy (or How I Learned that Being One is Stupid)
The Other Side of The Color Complex