From time to time, I love spotlighting black women in the arts who uapologetically amplify their voices and create narratives that elevate our culture’s consciousness. While we now know names like Ava Duvernay, Gina Prince-Bythewood, Issa Rae, Numa Perrier and others, there are many other black women rocking it who deserve some recognition. In a world that constantly attempts to erase black contributions, these women plow ahead with their unique talents to entertain and elevate through film. Below are some filmmakers, producers, and directors who deserve some extra love.
1. Brittney Briggs
At only 20 years of age, Brittney Briggs’ talent is inspiring and impressive. She explores complex topics and concepts that break boundaries and spotlight diverse narratives. She has co-directed the popular comedy-drama web-series The Waiting Room which explores a group of medical assistants who are working at a private practice. Briggs states:
“I like to create things that are relatable and comprehensive. But also I want my viewer to see the realness…Being a director of photography gives me the possibility to visually show stories in the way I perceive them to be. And by being a director I can choreograph how I want events to happen so both roles for me are really important.”
Briggs’ current feature-length film called Limit centers on the story of Olivia, a young, successful woman who comes to the city with her boyfriend Brad in the hopes of a vacation. Instead, Brad uses their time in the city for business. Driven by boredom and loneliness, Olivia meets a woman named Bianca, a ball of fire and a complete game changer. Check out the trailer here:
You can find more information about Brittney on her website.
2) Jeanine Daniels
Jeanine Daniels is my shero. She is unapologetically creative, unique, and bold. Her story-telling capabilities have captivated audiences all over the world and her influence is growing larger and larger.
Since 2008 Jeanine has been a part of Black&Sexy TV. She created a series called The Couple which was actually based on characters from her life [The show is absolutely hilarious!] and the series is now in development with HBO.Jeanine is also the creator of the super popular web series That Guy.
In 2014, Black & Sexy TV released Jeanine’s first feature film, That Guy Movie, based on the popular web series she created. Distributed on the VHX pay-per-view platform, the film has garnered rave reviews and thousands of paid views.
3) Jacqueline Olive
Jacqueline is a powerhouse when it comes to documentary films and critical topics. Jacqueline worked for three seasons assisting with the production of the internationally-themed PBS series, Global Voices, and the Emmy award-winning documentary series, Independent Lens. She also co-directed and co-produced the documentary Black to Our Roots which broadcast on PBS World.
Jacqueline is the founder of Tell It Media which is a production company that focuses on nuanced diverse narratives.
She is currently filming a new documentary film called Always in Season.Here is a video of Jackie explaining the film’s importance for our culture today:
Always in Season explores the impact of racial terrorism and lynching in communities that are grappling with how best to move forward. She is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to complete the film.
4) Shola Lynch
Shola Lynch is a black filmmaker who is worthy of our praise and recognition. She creates groundbreaking documentaries that center black women’s stories. In 2004, she created Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed which is about the presidential campaign of black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. In 2013, she created a documentary called Free Angela and All Political Prisoners, which shares the story of black activist Angela Davis.
Lynch has received a Peabody award for excellence and two Independent Spirit award nominations. Lynch is currently in development with her newest feature film about Harriet Tubman. Here’s an interview Lynch did with The Root about the film.
5) Stephanie Allain
Stephanie is the Queen of Indie Hollywood with a production company called Homegrown Pictures. Allain is known for being the director of the LA Film Festival, as well as the producer for super popular films like Dear White People, Beyond the Lights, Peeples, Hustle and Flow, Black Snake Moan and more. She has an extremely talented family including her son Wade Allain-Marcus who has a film out called French Dirty. Stephanie makes an appearance in it and serves as the producer for the film. Check out the trailer: