Recent UCLA graduate, Kamil Oshundara, has been hired as the “cultural executive” at Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A portion of her job will include “diving deep” into genre material to create content that better represents marginalized groups and cultures. Her role is one not often seen in the movie industry.
“Coming from an academic background, Kamil’s dedication to rigorous cultural research is tremendous, and her focus of creating artistic platforms for underrepresented voices is both inspiring and exactly the spirit, in which Monkeypaw was founded on,” said Peele in a statement.
She graduated from UCLA’s 2018 class with a joint degree in African-American studies and world arts and cultures. While in attendance at the university she researched “Black speculative arts with a focus on Black horror and the and the mobilization of fear, fantasy and futurism in genre to explore the material realities of oppression and resistance for Black women.” Peele also touched on Black horror with his Oscar-winning directorial debut, Get Out.
According to the production company, Oshundara will conduct academic and cultural research and her findings will be woven into storyline and character development. They hope this will be beneficial to producing “critically conscious media.”
The Philly-born executive explained how she got the role and expressed her excitement over the opportunity. “7 months ago I was sitting on the front steps of my mama house talking with my neighbor and partner about how GET OUT changed my life, how radical the Sunken Place is as a theory, and how @jordanpeele AKA #PapaPeele was the new father of Social Thrillers and Black Horror. And NOW I’m working with him personally at @monkeypawproductions alongside of a radical team of conscious creators, gender bending geeks, queer loving scream queens and sci-fi fanatics dedicated to changing the world thru cinema and production,” she wrote on Instagram.
Oshundra is an author, artist and queer community organizer. Throughout her time in Los Angeles, she curated inclusive arts-based events. The cultural activist is already tasked with overseeing Wendell and Wild, the stop-motion animation Monkeypaw is producing for Netflix.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.