What are the lasting effects of discrimination in film for people of colour? And more specifically, women of colour? Listen in as we explore this question by talking to female filmmakers of colour and get their take on representation in the entertainment industry and the history behind the lack of representation within film. This episode is a product of the Ignite Change Fellowship: a partnership between the Cross-Cutting Initiative on Inequality, the NYU Production Lab, and the Wasserman Center for Career Development.
“As long as “diversity” and “representation” is on the website, we are safe.” These terms that hold immense impact, nowadays have almost become exploited as a marketable proof that an institution is “politically correct”. From casting a BIPOC actor to a stereotypical role to building diversity initiatives that are for the benefit of the institutions, we seek to examine the issue of a lack of authentic and genuine change and inclusion in the film industry. Discussions around “representation” on screen is essential. However, at the root, are the decision makers in the room and those behind the scenes. From a series of interviews of emerging and established female filmmakers of colour artists, interludes of immersive experiences and educational interpretations from professor, journalist and activist, Pamela Newkirk, we hear first hand from those who are struggling to navigate the film industry and learn from the implications of it - what do we need to do moving forward?
The central question we’re tackling is this: does the increasing presence of diverse faces on our screen correlate with the faces that are present behind the camera? We want to explore how the representation of female directors of colour behind the scenes impacts films and their stories. Additionally, has the industry changed significantly or have things mostly stayed the same? We are bringing together female directors of colour from all stages of their careers to explore these questions and to lend their perspective to this multi-layered and complex question.