Cannes Film Festival finally accepts a Black Female Director in Competition

In the year 2019, it is mind blowing that we are still breaking glass ceilings. This year’s Cannes Film Festival turns 72 years old, and in all this time there has never been a black female director to screen a feature film in competition. However, this year that has come to an end because Mati Diop, a very talented 36-year-old filmmaker will be screening her feature film. Mati’s film is titled Atlantic and it is one of 21 films that will be competing this year. Of the 21 films, there will be three other women screening their films at the festival.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mati wasn’t even aware that she was the first black female director to screen at the festival until hearing about it in the News. Mati states, “What I represent doesn’t belong to me.” She stands on the shoulders of all of the talented black female director’s who have laid the foundation for her.

For more information visit The Hollywood Reporter’s Article on Mati Diop:

African American movie director for “Boyz in the Hood” John Singleton died Monday due to complications from a stroke he suffered almost two weeks ago. He passed at age 51 which was confirmed by his family that he was taken off life support. “John Singleton left an indelible mark on the world through his masterful artistry, and uncompromising humanity, ” talent agency ICM Partners, which signed Singleton in 2014, said in a statement. “He was a visionary filmmaker and social commentator who created a path for a new generation of filmmaker, many of whom he mentored, in a way they never saw possible.”

After suffering a stroke April 17 while in hospital, the Academy Award-nominated director was placed in a medically-induced coma. He reportedly had checked himself into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after experiencing weakness in his leg, according to TMZ. Singleton’s family said Monday he had hypertension, which is blood pressure that puts more stress on blood vessels and vital organs.

At the young age of 24, Singleton became the youngest and the first black filmmaker to receive an Oscar nomination for best director and best original screenplay for “Boyz n the Hood,” starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Morris Chestnut, Angela Bassett, Nia Long, Regina King, and Laurence Fishburne. “Boyz n the Hood,” the 1991 crime-drama, centered on the three friends growing up during the gang and drug culture in South Central Los Angeles, became one of Singleton’s most notable films and remains a classic to this day.

Singleton directed a number of iconic films that examined the complexities of inner-city life and coming of age for African Americans, including “Poetic Justice” and “Baby Boy.” He’s also behind the movies “Abduction,” “Shaft,” “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Rosewood” and “Four Brothers.” Furthermore, Singleton recently created and was executive producer of the FX drama “Snowfall,”about the start of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles and it’s ultimate radical impact on the culture as we know it, ” according to FX Networks. In September, the show was renewed for a third season.

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Sotheby’s announces the winner of the 2018 Sotheby’s Prize, in its second year continues to celebrate curatorial excellence. Presented to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures ( opening in LA in the late 2019) the $250,000 award will support their exhibition, Regeneration: Black Cinema 1900-1970 which opens in Fall 2020. The first exhibition of its type, Regeneration will reveal the vital and unrecognized history of African American filmmakers in the development of American cinema. It will showcase African American representation in motion pictures from its start to beyond Civil Rights era. Regeneration is being classified as the first-ever major survey show about black filmmakers in the United States before New Hollywood. Curated by Doris Berger, the acting head of curatorial affairs at the Academy Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC., the show was put together in conjunction with an advisory panel that included filmmakers Charles Burnett and Ava DueVernay; Shola Lynch, a curator at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Center for Research in Black Culture; and Ron Magliozzi, a film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, among others.

Speaking about the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ exhibition, Co-creator of the Sotheby’s Prize & Chair of the Sotheby’s Prize Jury, and also Chairman and Executive Vice President of Sotheby’s Allan Schwartzman said: “In the US the last few years there has been an overdue re-examination of artists of African American descent, but no museum has really looked closely at this in the realms of popular culture. This exhibition looks at the popular culture of cinema through the eyes of the filmmakers and artists who grew up in that culture.” In addition to the main prize, a sum of $10,000 is also awarded to a number of institutions whose exhibitions and initiatives are judged by the jury panel to be inspiring and transformative.

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After last Sunday Jordan Peele’s “Us” movie has reached $70 million mark, after it was estimated to only reach 25.4 million. The worry was that it would be lower than “Get Out” exit polls and a polarizing ending, that Us would fall further. However everyone was astonished. Fandango reports that Us is still No.1 in advance ticket sales for Sunday. “Simply put, Jordan Peele is a genius, and we’re thrilled he put his signature touch to the genre,” beamed Universal domestic distribution boss Jim Orr. “Folks come out of the movie and they have to talk about. It’s really a topic of conversation, how people are interpreting the movie. That’s a great sign for legs.” Their were several records spotted in the previous write-up, chiefly that Us reps a record opening for an original horror film. Us is the best opening for a live action original since James Cameron’s 2009 Avatar ($77M), thoughthe second best for an original piece of IP behind that mega-grossing epic.

Us drove total weekend ticket sales to $148.6M, plus 14% over a year ago. RelishMix noticed the divide over Us on social media. “Fans want to talk about the end of Us immediately after seeing it. This clip from Insider, which discusses the ending, posted on Friday, has over 629k views. To say the discussion is polarizing is accurate, in that some Jordan Peele /Get Out/ horror fans are singing the movie’s praises. Universal and Peele kept this movie under wraps for a while, stating that it was only a social horror film back when the pic was first announced. They kept this intrigue up as long as they could, down to the Rorschach teaser poster which Peele dropped on his social media, a moment that flooded Twitter with 176 million impressions. The first trailer hit on Christmas Day, collecting more than 106M global views. The next big high profile spot for Us aired during the Super Bowl pre-game which earned more than 64M total views.

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Former co-executive producer from the long-running ABC nighttime drama Grey’s Anatomy, a producer on House of Lies and writer on sudser Revenge, Karen Gist began writing for television on the comedy classic Girlfriends. Gist, is now running the show, overseeing the writing and entire production responsibilities at Star, the drama series about a girl group’s takeover of the Atlanta music scene. Gist is a graduate of Spellman College and Georgetown law School. Gist said, one thing she love most about what she does is having platform to use her “Big Black, gay voice” to tell stories that make people think. Gist has also been tapped to write the third sequel to Sister Act along with the Insecure writer Regina Hicks.

Shonda Rhimes first foray into television, Grey’s Anatomy, was originally a midseason replacement at ABC and not expected to do very well. The show beat the odds and became the cultural phenomenon doing much to increase the confidence of Hollywood that, Black women can make sprawling dramas with gripping storylines and characters that are universally relatable. Grey’s Anatomy has since become the longest-running medical drama in television history!

Janine Sherman Barrois had been a television writer and producer for highly acclaimed television classics such as ET, The Jamie Foxx Show, and Criminal Minds. Barrios came out of the Warner Bros. writing workshop and gears to have a production deal with that studio for the dark comedy show Claws. Others women showrunners are Courtney Kemp, Yvette Lee Bowser, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Ayanna Floyd Davis, Tanya Hamilton, Dee Harris-Lawrence, Aida Mashaka Croal, Elle Johnson, and Tracy Oliver.

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Colleagues Ruth Carter and Hannah Beachler of “Black Panther” made history at the 91st Oscars: They were the first black people to win Oscars in their respective categories. Ruth Carter won for Best Costume Design and Hannah Beachler won for Best Production Design for their work on the hit Marvel film, they shared backstage after accepting their awards. “I dreamed of this night and I prayed for this night, not only for being a hard working costume designer, but what it would mean for people behind me,” Carter said in the Oscar press room. “We won’t have to wait for another first. We have the first.”

Hannah Beachler said that for her, taking this job wasn’t about her desire to work on “Black Panther” but about convincing Marvel that she would be right and worthy for the job. She offered some advice to any other young black girls who might have such aspirations.

“Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t do this craft. You are worthy and you are beautiful, and this id for you,” Beachler said. The advice that changed everything the most was when I arrived in Oakland all those years ago, with Ryan Coogler, and he said, you know what, just be honest, be truthful, just be you.”

Beachler also said when she stepped on the first completed set for “Black Panther”the casino set, she kneeled down and cried never believing that she she would get to one day make something on the scale of a Marvel movie. “It’s a collaborative medium, ” Beachler said. “You lean on the people that you love. Your family. And I would consider Ryan and everyone else on “Black Panther” part of my family.”

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On last Sunday 7 black artists won Oscars, topping the previous record of five se two years ago. Mahershala Ali and Regina King won two supporting actor categories, for “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Green Book”.

Writer-director Spike Lee earned his career first competitive Oscar for co-writing “BlackKklansman” – his co-writers include another African American winner, Kevin Willmott. Also, “Black Panther” costume designer Ruth Carter and production designer Hannah Beachler became the first black winners in their categories-as did Peter Ramsey, one of five winners for “Spiderman-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” as Best Animated Feature.

However in 2016 the record for black Oscar winners was when five black artists won: supporting actors Viola Davis for “Fences” and Mahershala Ali for Moonlight,” documentary feature director-producer Ezra Edelman for “O.J. made in America,” and screenwriters Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney for Moonlight.

There was a record-shattering list of 928 were invited to join the Academy last year-following 683 new members in 2016, and then a new record 774 members in 2017. It was the third year of concerted effort by the Academy to identify and invite more women and nonwhite members to join the organization.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held a special screening at New York’s City’s Metrograph. The screening was for director Kasi Lemmons’ 1992 classic Eve’s Bayou! Eve’s Bayou is the film that was chosen for this month to both continue to spotlight female filmmakers in the industry and in honor of Black History Month.

During Lemmons director debut,she wrote a story about a daughter who witnesses her father having an affair, and starts a chain reaction that could tear her family apart. Cast members were Samuel L. Jackson, Jurnee Smollett Bell, Debbi Morgan, Lynn Whitfield, Diahann Carroll, Lisa Nicole Carson, Meagan Good, Roger Guenveur Smith, and Vondie Curtis Hall whom all are still working today.

Lemmons said in an interview, ” In some ways, it was a gift. I was always interested in writings. I had gone to film school. I definitely had a pull in writing and directing. I had been writing and acting since I was a kid. So I went to film school and I started writing and writing with other people. Eve’s Bayou was the first thing I wrote by myself and it was simple in that I took the time, I wrote the script, I wrote a few drafts until I thought it was good.”

Editor Shropshire said this in the interview,”When I was given the script of Eve’s Bayou, I had never read anything like that in my life. When I read a script, I watch a script and I saw my family. I saw uncles and aunts and I saw these professional beautiful black people and I just knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of and whether or not I got the job, I was so grateful that someone was finally making this film.

For more information check this website link:

For the 50th Annual NAACP Image Awards, Black Panther took home 14 nominations that were announced this on Wednesday. The list include Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for Chadwick Boseman, Outstanding Breakthrough Role for both Winston Duke and Letitia Wright, and Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture, among many others.

Also Black Panther’s soundtrack single “All the Stars,” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, is in contention for Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album. Boseman and the film’s director, Ryan Coogler, are nominated for Entertainer of the Year, alongside Beyonce, Regina King and Lebron James. Other film frontrunners at this year’s milestone event, earning multiple nominations in different categories, are BlacKkKlansman, Crazy Rich Asians, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows and The Hate U Give. Among TV shows, Black-ish, Insecure, Seven Seconds, Atlanta and How to Get Away With Murder are among among the most celebrated series at this year’s event. All awards were presented annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.…/apos-black-panther-apos-reigns-014944594

Chinonye Chukwu filmmaker of “Clemency” has broken down a new barrier. Chukwu is the first black woman to win the festival’s biggest prize, the Brand Jury Prize for her U.S. Dramatic entry. Chukwu both wrote and directed the death row drama. The film is about prison warden (Alfre Woodard) struggling with the stressful demands of her job. “Alfre Woodard embodies the extraordinary challenges of a woman tasked with sending men to their death, while bottling up her emotions so tight she looks as if she might blow,” written by Eric Kohn from IndieWire’s review.

Chukwu joins Desiree Akhavan, Ryan Coogler, Debra Granik, Damien Chazelle, and many more big names as winning the Grand Jury Prize for their U.S. Dramatic entries. At this year’s festival, women directed 46 percent of the competition films, representing 56 films across four categories.

The groundbreaking Marvel film, “Black Panther” has returned to hundreds of movie theaters across the country. Black Panther film has returned in honor of Black History Month. The movie will be shown for free, in theaters only for the first 7 days of February. Walt Disney Co. announced the giveaway on its website earlier this week.

“Black Panther is groundbreaking for many reasons, including the rich diversity of voices behind it’s success, Disney chairmen and CEO Robert A. Iger said in a statement. The film has garnered 7 Oscar nominations-including one for Best Picture of the Year, while the superhero film has a predominantly black cast. Disney also will grant 1.5 million to the United Negro College Fund.

Legendary black movie director Spike Lee, is finally an Academy nominee for best picture and director. Lee has been making films for over 3 decades. His only nominations to date were (1989) “Do the right thing” and (1997) “4 little Girls” until now. The Academy has denied two of Lee’s best films in the past like “Malcolm X” and “25th Hour” with an Honorary Oscar in 2015.  Lee has always made films that represent black culture and history. Lee has also created multiple documentaries “Street Fight”, Michael Jordan to the Max” , “When we were Kings” and “Bad 25” for example. Lee is dedicated to his craft and passion for filmmaking. Generations will be forever be inspired to keep trying until you achieve your goals.

Lee is the 6th black filmmaker to be Oscar-nominated for directing. Lee also is the 11th black writer to be nominated for best picture, and the first black writer to be nominated a second time for screenplay. There has never been a black filmmaker has ever won best director. Lee also has other nominations besides best picture of the year are, supporting actor, film editing, and original score for BlacKkKlansman.

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