Label president and entrepreneur Queen Latifah wants to shift the scales by empowering colored women directors.
By and large, Hollywood is aware of the lack of diversity and representation - especially when it comes to filmmakers. And Queen Latifah is no stranger to breaking barriers.
Citing the room for progress in terms of equality for minority filmmakers, women especially, Queen Latifah joined forces with Tribeca Studios and Marc Pritchard, Procter and Gamble’s chief brand officer, to launch the Queen Collective (TQC) - a program that provides women behind the camera with funding, resources, mentoring and a platform to debut their work, the Huffington Post reports.
Tribeca Film Festival 2019: Queen Latifah on How Short-Film Initiative Is Working to Improve Representation: Speaking at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, Queen Latifah opened up about how she's managed and navigated her dynamic career, and how her latest... https://t.co/gzklhq2zLB pic.twitter.com/wgrkJcmDvp— KHUR Radio (@KhurRadio) April 28, 2019
TQC has a goal of “accelerating gender and racial equality behind the camera.” In its inaugural year, TQC backed two black women - B. Monet and Haley Elizabeth Anderson - to debut their documentaries, “Ballet After Dark” and “If There Is Light” at Tribeca Film Festival, and they are now streaming on HULU.
Leading up to the premiere, the queen spoke with a roundtable of journalists on the importance of supporting these filmmakers along the way.
“Here we are with two wonderful up-and-coming directors who deserve to have their stories told in the way they want to tell them with the support of Tribeca Film Festival and all this amazing experience and talent,” she said.
“From having your idea selected to you now being at the helm, to having the finances to be able to create that project. To having people to mentor you through the entire process, to having a line of distribution to have your project seen by people, by the public which is where you want it to be. To get that story to the people and to have support along the way to let people know about it every step of the way," she added.
For B. Monet and Anderson, this is the first time they’d ever gotten the privilege of “yes” in this industry, they told HuffPost. Despite there being a rise in the number of women behind camera, there still seems to be major disparities - in terms of getting access and resources to work in the film industry, for women of color especially.
“To be given money, not even just $5,000, but adequate resources to make a short film is mind-blowing,” B. Monet told HuffPost.
Attended @tribeca Film festival last Friday! Stood in the same room as @IAMQUEENLATIFAH and Got to see @JiggyJay__ on the big screen! 💛 Such as great experience! It was rainy but so inspiring!#tribeca #tribecafilmfestival #deerees #queenlatifah pic.twitter.com/IkVRvxHtSH— J A Z Z (@jasmin__art) May 2, 2019
“I think what also is so great is that we have mentorship and support. Because I’ve not always had that, and so it’s just really beautiful to have different mentors. Whether they be editors or fellow directors, or just other people who can go and dig deep into the story with you and say ‘Hey, do you want to put this part in your film?’ or ‘Do you want to expound upon this?’” She concluded.