Lena Waithe is on a mission. She’s seeking to give underrepresented folks with something to say more of a voice and place in Hollywood. Through a partnership with Indeed, the employment search engine, she’s providing a conduit to bring more equity into the space from a more diverse set of filmmakers. Last week EBONY had the pleasure of attending Rising Voices, a showcase of short films during New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival that highlighted ten BIPOC filmmakers. Each of these ten filmmakers was given a $100,000 budget by Indeed to create and complete their oeuvre.
It’s no secret that Hollywood would benefit from a wider variance of contributors to the lexicon. The featured shorts during Rising Voices displayed works illuminating points of views and perspectives that aren’t often given a chance to be heard or seen on a wide-range of subjects: stories about loss of family, and the embracing of culture; coming of age stories about Black male sensuality; as well as the reclamation of female autonomy and sexuality.
Thanks to the initiative so much untapped potential is finally being given the creative freedom and magnification that they deserve. It helps bring forth to light the expansiveness of the scope of these filmmakers. For some of them, such as Deondray and Quincy LeNear Gossfield for instance, their short film, Flames was twenty years in the making, and the showcase allowed them the opportunity to achieve the farthest reach with their art.