Black Women Directors is an online digital library I first created as a Tumblr in 2015 and later migrated to a standalone site. I created BWD as a way to highlight the contributions of Black women and nonbinary filmmakers from around the globe to the cinematic canon.
In addition to curating the site, I also write a quarterly newsletter to share news related to Black women and nonbinary filmmakers and content creators. I also share different movies, TV series, books, music and podcasts I’m reading, watching, and listening to. Below is the Q1 newsletter, which I published in May. You can subscribe here for future newsletters.
Welcome to the first Black Women Directors newsletter of 2022. Somehow, some way it is now May, which means we are already nearly halfway through 2022, which has proven to be an emotional rollercoaster of a year for a multitude of reasons. Time is slipping away from us for real. Anyway, there is a lot of news related to Black women directors so let’s get into it:
NANNY, Nikyatu Jusu’s haunting and sumptuously photographed horror movie about motherhood, immigration, cultural clashes, and the pain of starting anew in a different country, debuted at Sundance earlier this year — and won the GRAND JURY PRIZE. NANNY has a distribution deal through Blumhouse and Amazon; I can’t wait for this film to have a wider release. Its star, Anna Diop, is a radiant and compelling presence.
Master, an atmospheric horror movie about the psychological terror visited upon Black women set at a fictional Ivy League school in the Northeast starring Regina Hall and Zoe Renee (of Jinn fame) also debuted at Sundance earlier this year and was bought and released by Amazon. Its director, Mariama Diallo, also directed the campy short horror film Hair Wolf, which you can watch here.
Another Sundance debut that also starred Regina Hall, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul will be premiering on the streaming channel Peacock during Labor Day weekend. The film, which was directed by Adamma and Adanne Ebo, also stars Sterling K. Brown as a disgraced megachurch pastor who along with his (overly) dedicated wife (Hall) work to rebuild their reputation while competing with the pastors of another megachurch. I love a good social satire and this one had me laughing out loud in a lot of moments.
Nijla Mu’min’s gorgeous and sensitive coming of age film, Jinn, is currently available to stream on the Criterion Channel so get on that immediately.
Numa Perrier directed the rom-com The Perfect Find starring Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers for Netflix, keep your eyes peeled for a release date and trailer soon, which should be coming later this year.
And while these aren’t movies, I hope you have been watching shows created by Black women like Abbott Elementary, the hilarious and heartwarming sitcom about Philadelphia public school teachers created by and starring Quinta Brunson. It also stars Tyler James Williams, Janelle James, and the legendary Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Watching: The Staircase and We Own This City on HBO. Both make for slightly depressing but compelling watches for very different reasons. The Florida Project (finally). Captive Audience. The Outside Story, a delightful slice-of-life comedy starring Brian Tyree Henry. Speaking of Mr. Henry, I’m also watching the absolutely absurd third season of Atlanta, which has returned after a four-year gap between season 2 and season 3. Also saw Everything Everywhere All At Once, which just confirms that Michelle Yeoh is one of the best actresses working today.