Skip to content Skip to footer

Pull up! Ava DuVernay is throwing a tweet-a-thon with your fave filmmakers

Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY film collective is hosting a massive tweet-a-thon on Thursday, April 30, with more than 50 filmmakers.

The Twitter takeover will take place at 9 am PST, and feature auteurs such as Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), Julie Dash (Daughter of the Dust), and Matthew Cherry (Hair Love), just to name a few.

The conversation around the takeover will use the dedicated hashtag #ARRAYNow. Some of the most ingenious filmmakers will join Ava DuVernay on Twitter to talk movies all day.

For movie fans such as ourselves, this is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise tepid climate surrounding film. Studios have hit the pause button, film releases are delayed, films in production are in the same boat.

To get to listen to some of the most creative and influential filmmakers in the business right now is a chance unlike any other. Advice will be shared, stories will be told, favorite movies will surely be discussed. And fans are encouraged to ask questions during the 10-hour+ event.

ARRAY is a grassroots distribution, arts, and advocacy collective focused on films by people of color and woman, as stated on its website.

This will be ARRAY’s fourth daylong filmmaker tweet-a-thon. Duvernay is excited to spring forward conversation surrounding film, and also to encourage people to stay at home.

“The ARRAY FILM FELLOWSHIP is our way of conjuring community, creativity and conversation while were all staying at home during these unprecedented times,” said ARRAY founder and Selma director Ava DuVernay.

“With the support and enthusiasm of our friends at Twitter, along with dozens of my fellow filmmakers, we hope the event brings solace and solidarity to those who join us.”

Twitter is incredibly excited to host the event and partner with so many talented and creative filmmakers.

“Highlighting voices and connecting artists to their audience with conversations is core to Twitter, and never has that felt more important. This is going to be a magical day for #FilmTwitter!” said Lara Cohen, Head of Global Partner Solutions at Twitter.

This event is going to be special, in its raw, unfiltered state of filmmakers letting their Twitter fingers fly. Make sure to tune in and join the conversation with #ARRAYNow.

Ava DuVernay expands ARRAY initiative with new state of the art theater

ARRAY film distribution company recently announced the opening of a new theatre on their L.A. campus.

Filmmaker and activist icon Ava DuVernay founded ARRAY. Duvernay launched the organization in 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival under the name The African American Film festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM). Additionally, ARRAY is a grassroots independent film distribution and resource collective.

Similar to Sundance, ARRAY distributes independent films but focuses on amplifying the voices and films of POC and women globally. Vice President of ARRAY Tilane Jones said,

“It’s really a labor of love, which is all driven by a desire to be in service of people. It’s about not only ownership but also access.”

DuVernay has criticized the lack of theatres in POC communities. She highlights the lack of access to films for African-American and Latinx communities that are a cinema desert.

This is counterintuitive considering that POCs make up a large portion of the moviegoing audience. Also, according to recent stats, they buy more tickets than their Caucasian counterparts.

Booking theatres to show the independent films ARRAY distributes is a challenge because the industry often claims that films made by and for POC and women don’t do well. Although ARRAY may not be in a position to open enough theatres to remedy this issue, they have sought to find a solution to another problem.

In response, ARRAY decided to cut out the middle man and have their own theatre at their Campus. The theatre shows films produced by ARRAY as well as submissions from aspiring artists and filmmakers. Additionally, the theatre will be available for rent.

The ARRAY business model feels less like a business and more like goal-oriented creativity distributor. Ava DuVernay emphasizes the choices of quality of art and curation of PR over profit. As a result, ARRAY claims that it has attracted filmmakers that would’ve otherwise gone to larger firms.

The existence of ARRAY itself proves that films made by and depicting people of color and women can attract large and loyal audiences. The largest film produced by ARRAY, “Middle of Nowhere” grossed over $236,000 at the box office. The addition of this theatre can only help them reach broader audiences.

ARRAY continues to fight for the artists that need them most. Just like their slogan claims, “Artists + Advocacy + Audiences Aligned.”

How Samuel Bazawule overcame fear while making The Burial of Kojo

During his TED Talk in 2016, Samuel Bazawule, better known as the Ghanian-American rapper, visual artist, turned filmmaker, “Blitz The Ambassador,” declared in his talk that “innovative ideas are best fostered outside of conventions.”

Bazawule made this statement in the context of describing his ingenious music career, where he has managed to masterfully blend the African sounds of Highlife and Afrobeat with hip-hop; a dazzling sound which has garnered fans from around the world.

In our interview, Bazawule noted that he grew up in “a typical Ghanaian household” and recalled spending his younger years endlessly painting and drawing.

With parents who supported his budding artistry, Bazawule was ultimately able to evade what he cited as the conventional career trajectory for many in people who reside on the continent; a doctor, a teacher, or for Bazawule personally, to follow in the footsteps of his attorney father.

Music became an extension of his journey as an artist. His education in music wasn’t neatly chartered through a school system, nor through sheet music. The soundscape of Accra was his music school.

“From drumming, dancing in school, wake keepings and outdoor gatherings, music and especially live music, was everywhere. At the time, Highlife music in Ghana was huge and there was very little American music on the radio and if there was, it was oldies,” he expressed.

Bazawule is indebted to his older brother who introduced him to hip-hop at a young age. His older brother, who during his visits home would bring back cassette tapes of Rakim and KRS-One.

The conscious lyrics, the beats, scratches, and sounds left Bazawule completely enthralled. “Hip hop was really new, there were no real stations or programs dedicated to it. I wasn’t too familiar with the conditions of African-Americans at the time due to limited information,” he said.

“Still, I still felt like these were people that found a way of speaking their truth. Sometimes it was vulgar or disrespectful, but it still sounded like truth.”

After finding out that hip-hop was sample culture and that anyone could participate, Bazawule became excited. He expressed,

“It was a very open source and transparent medium; you saw how it was made. All I had to do was take the things around me, chop it up and make my version of hip-hop…”

Bazawule continued,

“Other people were thinking the same thing, and we ultimately birthed Hiplife which was Highlife combined with Hip-Hop. Out of HipLife came people like myself, who sampled classic African records, just like A Tribe Called Quest would flip a jazz record. We were flipping Highlife and Afrobeat records and rhyming in whatever language we were familiar with and that became our norm.”

Bazawule is now based in Brooklyn. In our interview, he described his move to the U.S. and his introduction to the hip-hop scene,

“When I moved to the U.S., I kind of attempted to assimilate and in doing so for a few years, I just realized that there was no point. I wasn’t contributing to the canon of hip-hop, so I thought if I’m going to participate in it, then it was better to introduce people to this Hiplife sound,” he said.

Admittedly, Bazawule has always wanted to make something back home in Ghana. After several years of making music, Bazawule returned to his roots as a visual artist.

Since cinema is an art form that marries Bazawule’s love of sound and image, it made sense for the artist to transition into filmmaking and find another creative avenue to articulate his diasporic condition.

The story of The Burial of Kojo was inspired by one of Bazawule’s annual visits home to Ghana, where he read a story about a group of miners who had been buried alive. In our interview, he recalled,

“I became very interested in the story and I have always wanted to make something at home but never wanted to make the kind of film that I call a ‘cultural safari;’ which is what I feel most African films are, not all, but a good majority of them…primarily because whoever makes these films have to create or present a version of us that they are comfortable with.”

The Burial of Kojo chronicles the tale of two brothers through the gifted eyes of a young girl who transports the audience to the beautiful lands of Ghana and other worlds that exist between life and death.

When I asked Bazawule if the familial story was born out of something specific, or personal experience, he said, “No, it wasn’t. But it was born out of knowing a lot of people who have experienced trauma and have not had the help to deal with it. Which is typical on the continent, because professional help is expensive and is to an extent reserved for an elite.”

“The average person often witnesses an accident or has a family member who dies tragically, but they never get to talk about it. I’ve always been intrigued about this idea of what guilt can do when you don’t get a chance to exert it.”

Bazawule continued,

“As much as it is important to speak about Chinese imperialism and some of the other socio-economic issues that are dealt with in the film, I made sure that those things were secondary and that they never overshadowed the story of the family and the issue of Kojo dealing with his guilt and a tragedy,” he continued.

The Burial of Kojo’s non-linear narrative structure adheres to the oral traditions of African storytelling and the story is filtered through the eyes of the young protagonist, Esi.

From the film’s onset, the audience is completely aligned with her subjectivity as the film opens with her voice narration describing her father who is haunted by the memory of a car accident.

Speaking on his decision to use a young girl as the film’s protagonist and employ voice-over narration, Bazawule explained,

“It was born out of my grandmother’s stories. That is my understanding of story, you know?  Almost always the protagonists were young girls, which was probably her way of mirroring herself in these worlds. But I think more importantly, women run most indigenous societies…

He continued,

“This film was always about a moment of truth – the source of this little girl’s knowing is from my grandmother’s stories and her form of knowing. And if you follow Esi’s character, she is the only one that stays knowing from the beginning, everyone else comes to an understanding at some point in the film or recedes from an understanding.”

Through its non-linear form, The Burial of Kojo continually challenges the spectators’ ability to reconcile time and space.

There is a way in which the visual poetics of the film — the floating camera movement, the moments of slow and fast motion, the repetition of shots and upside down camerawork —  render the past, present, and future to fold into one another.

The Burial of Kojo brings to light how trauma impacts not only the individual but also their relationships with their community and family. Through its magical realism, the film masterfully blurs the line between the film’s diegesis, memory, and dream; simulating the movement between the conscious and subconscious in the relaying of memory.

With the audience often occupying these liminal positions, The Burial of Kojo draws attention to the way the cinematic image can expose the melancholic work of memory, and allow one the opportunity to grieve and mourn in time.

Indeed, time makes itself present through the aural motif of a ticking clock. With little knowledge of how much time has passed between events, this ambivalence heightens the spectators’ engagement with the aural modality of storytelling, and rely on Esi’s narration to decipher what happened to Kojo.

Speaking on the subject of the audience’s engagement with the film, Bazawule explained that cinematically he focuses on pulling the spectator in. Even in a scene where people are eating, he wants you to have a seat at the table.

“Empathy is something cinema directly inspires. Other mediums, like music, visual art, and literature are very powerful but cinema combines all these mediums and makes use of everything. It has the ability to create or inspire a strong empathy for the character,” Bazawule said.

In discussing his collaboration with cinematographer Michael Fernandez, he expressed,

“We were clear that we are going to shoot this film like we are there, and that the audience is going to participate because that is African art.  I mean, have you been to an African wedding? You get pulled into the dance or handed a drum, you are not there to observe, you are there to participate….

Bazawule continued,

Voyeurism is a Western concept. It’s the same way we take masks that are for ritual purposes and put them behind a glass box and put them in the Louvre. In other words, how can I experience this thing without actually experiencing it?”

In working with Fernandez, Bazawule explained how clear he was on how he wanted color and proximity to tell their story. Additionally, he expressed his frustration on how most African films are treated in post-production. Bazawule said,

Most people who color African films have never been to Africa. They have a perception of it and have certain films that inform their perception — sepia tone, brown and earthy tones — everything de-saturated. Films became very voyeuristic in their photography — which is what I meant about African films feeling like ‘a cultural safari.”

Bazawule’s braveness behind the camera goes unmatched and with Fernandez, they were able to overcome fear.

“‘We have got to be brave with the camera.’ That was our go-to saying. The camera was going to go places that were not traditional. When making this film I thought if my grandmother stumbled on this tape, this video, this clip, will she get it? or will she be like “alright you have just made another Western film that I don’t understand? Your personal audience is so important.”

In discussing his fears in making the film, he expressed,

“It was scary. You are dealing with a world that is so Euro-normative or Eurocentric. Any slight deviation comes with punishment, and sometimes your work gets canned…

Bazawule continued,

“But autonomy is key. I never once had someone next to me saying, ‘I don’t believe in the story you’re telling or your structure.’ I was lucky that based on my music career I had access to funds that enabled me to get the ball rolling on the film and then started a Kickstarter campaign to finish the film. But through it all, it was autonomy.”

On his advice for aspiring filmmakers, he stressed endurance and bravery. For Bazawule, there is no sense to “produce work that regurgitates someone else’s perspective. It’s so important to figure out what is in your genetic memory; what you remember as a story.”

“It takes great endurance, that’s a talent in itself. It also takes bravery. These two things will determine if you will make work you will be proud of, or work that fits a mold and will be forgotten tomorrow.”

He continued,

“If I am true and honest about my work then the rest of the world will come to it. The work doesn’t have to come to them. We all want to hear each other’s stories that are from a place of truth; because at some point, we all intersect.”

Bazawule insists that his first feature film is adding vocabulary to a cinematic language that already exists, but whose continuum continues to be disrupted.

Even so, The Burial of Kojo is a stunning visual enunciation of African cinema and a powerful enactment that foregrounds the importance of the transmission and preserving of cultural memory.

The Burial of Kojo is now available to stream on Netflix. It is the first original film from Ghana to be released on the streaming platform.

Ava DuVernay and ARRAY host National Day of Racial Healing

Pioneering filmmaker and activist Ava DuVernay hosted the annual National Day of Racial Healing event in collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The event was hosted on Tuesday through ARRAY; DuVernay’s distribution and advocacy company.

Curated by DuVernay, the event included conversations and performances to help build awareness and inspire dialogue around racial equity, justice, and healing.

Following MLK day, the event on Tuesday brought together the likes of Stacey Abrams, Laverne Cox, David Oyelowo, Eva Longoria, Judd Apatow, Storm Reid, Melissa Etheridge and more.

The event was established by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2017. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has been awarding grants through the initiative, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT).

The initiative is a national and community-based effort to engage communities, organizations, and individuals across the United States in racial healing. TRHT addresses present-day inequities linked to historic and contemporary beliefs in a hierarchy of human value.

During her succession in the industry, DuVernay has been a vocal and staunch advocate for women and people of color in Hollywood.

In an Adweek interview, DuVernay described how she doesn’t perceive artists and activists as different. She pointed out,

“Activism is inherently a creative endeavor, it takes a radical imagination to be an activist, to envision a world that is not there. It takes imagination and that’s not far from art.”

The Academy Award-nominated director released a statement on the event to Deadline,

“The responsibility of fighting inequality and injustice is all of ours. But it’s particularly important that those of us with certain visibility and influence use our platforms to urge bold conversations. We can never give up on pushing this nation to live up to its promise.”

She added,

“There’s a lot of talking and tweeting these days. A lot of pontification about where we are as a country and how we arrived here. When Kellogg approached ARRAY about working together on furthering and deepening those conversations, I was all in.”

The event was segmented into several conversations and performances. DuVernay sat down with Stacey Abrams — the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia — whose tight race against the Republican candidate Brian Kemp, drew national attention and raised major concerns around voter suppression.

Speaking on the project of racial healing, Abrams expressed,

“Racial healing is an active job. That means we have to do the work of fixing the problems we see. I personally do it by running for office, but in the times I am not standing for office, I try to find ways to be active in my community and to lift up the issues I think matter. I’m focusing on voting rights, and the census, and access to social justice, but every single day is an act of racial healing when we work to connect communities and stand up for each other — especially those communities that are not our own.”

Abrams spoke to DuVernay about her 2018 campaign, her narrow loss, and the state of democracy. She said,

“When other people didn’t do the work, I did it myself. Sometimes the loser is you so other people can be victors.”

She continued,

“We take for granted our democracy, but it is fragile….we do not have a permanent democracy, we have a democracy we have to fight for. That fight happens every day, and it happens at the polls.”

Abrams pointed out the power state and local governments have during election cycles, reminding the audience that “Jim Crow was not a federal law,” but rather was a law that was enacted and enforced by state governments.

Indeed, her run for governor of Georgia proved that many voters were systematically obstructed from exercising their constitutional right to elect their leaders. Post-election, Abrams continues to remain focused on tackling the issue of voter suppression and empowering voters who live in marginalized locations,

“You expand the electorate by making certain poor, rural communities aware of the power of their vote. If you change the south, you change America and that’s my mission.”

The host of Democracy Now, Amy Goodman explained to ARRAY how she heals,

In a conversation with Goodman, pioneering trans actress and activist, Laverne Cox, responded to the Supreme Court’s revival of President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.

Cox spoke about the individual process of healing and transformation. She asserted,

“A person has to be willing to be wrong for transformation to happen. In coming to consciousness we have to unlearn- we have to be willing to be wrong. I believe that we trans and black people are collectively traumatized. And trauma is really hard to heal. Healing has to start with each of us,”

Best-selling children’s book novelist and author Jackie Woodson, who joined Cox on stage said, echoed her sentiment by stating,

“The beginning of discomfort is the beginning of change.”

In discussing her career as a writer, Woodson said,

“As a child in literature, I didn’t see myself… I found the only way to change it was to write myself into it.

Writer and activist Audre Lorde, famously said that self-care is both an act of self-preservation and political warfare. As the assaults on the life of people of color continue to manifest in many forms, Lorde’s weighted statement continues to resonate today.

Maintaining emotional and mental health in this divisive and volatile political climate is particularly important given the barrage of troubling news headlines that stream through our devices every day under this current administration.

Plus, when women of color have exercised their power and voice to social justice movements, these same movements do not always wholly respect and incorporate their issues and concerns into their political platform.

Taking time for yourself, as Lorde stated, “is not an act of self-indulgence,” but rather is an individual project that is critical to the larger project of emancipation.

Here’s to the rebels at Array and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for organizing the event and fostering an important discourse on some of the most important issues.

If you missed out on seeing it live, you can watch the event on Array’s website.

Director Lisa France talks grueling process of shooting her doc ‘Roll With Me’

One day, director Lisa France received an email from the Alliance of Women Directors (AWD), about Gabriel Cordell; a paraplegic and recovering addict who was going to attempt to push himself on a standard wheelchair across the U.S. The posting detailed that Cordell was seeking a film crew to document the monumental, world record-breaking journey.

Having always been attracted to pioneering stories and personalities, France reached out to Cordell, initially joining the project as a keen observer, eager to see if Cordell could pull off this awe-inspiring expedition. In speaking to Kulture Hub, she noted,

“I love having an opportunity to shine the light on the impossible until it becomes possible. A pioneer creates a space for people to believe they can do anything.”

While Cordell’s goal was clear, he still needed a crew. Oh, and money.

France’s role as an enthusiastic spectator switched drastically into becoming a logistics manager and relentlessly trying to find ways to fund Cordell’s journey.

Through a Kickstarter campaign, the project managed to attain funds from 435 individual backers. In addition, the project received outside sponsorships from Kinecta Federal Credit Union, West Coast Chill (an energy drink company) and a spine doctor Alan Moelleken practicing in Santa Barbara, California. 

With enough funds raised, Cordell could finally start his journey, or so, France thought.

Roll With Me

The subsequent addition of Cordell’s nephew Christopher on the trip, who had just gotten out of rehab for heroin, was a plot twist that made France anticipate what was in store for them. With others following suit and volunteering to join Cordell’s journey, a unique squad assembled. France ran through the roster,

“A Guatemalan marine vet with PTSD, a homeless guy with Asperger’s, a recovering drug addict and cocaine fiend who lost everything, a gangbanger drug addict Palestinian Catholic, a career-smoker paraplegic with arthritis and recovering drug addict, and me, the lesbian. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?”

With an unimaginable sampling of individuals, who represent some of the most marginalized communities and identities in society, France knew that she was in for a wild ride. This motley crew, however, became her film crew and finally allowed the filming to commence.

With the other team members having no experience operating a camera and France not being a camera operator herself, admittedly, mistakes were made along the way.

As a result, there is a gritty and raw tone that rolls throughout the film and at the same time, is also punctuated by stunning shots that France was able to capture on their travels.

In speaking to Kulture Hub, France expressed that her primary focus was getting this group of people from point A to point B safely, emphasizing that filmmaking came to be secondary on this project.

Roll With Me

Absent of any safety gear and with no members of the team having any experience caring for a paraplegic who had never undergone a physical task on a comparable scale, there was a lot to be concerned about.

Evidently, Cordell’s physical endurance was tested.

Cordell’s condition as a paraplegic leaves him unable to feel anything from the chest down. He has no balance. Therefore, any forward movement and traction in the wheelchair derive exclusively from Cordell using his arm strength. Yet, just as much as his physical strength was to be tested so was his psychological and emotional stamina.

Consequently, France encountered the common conflict most documentary filmmakers experience in production, the dilemma of filming your subject when they are in pain or suffering in some way. In our interview, France recounted,  

“There were times where I was shooting and have tears streaming down my face and it was very hard to continue rolling. There was a time when Gabe’s shoulder started to have major problems when he was rolling and he was screaming out in pain. Just thinking of it now makes me sad. It was horrible, horrible to shoot that.”


View this post on Instagram


#rollwithme #spreadtheword Follow us on twitter @rollwithmeusa !!

A post shared by rollwithmeusa (@rollwithmeusa) on Apr 2, 2013 at 4:44pm PDT

France did however set up boundaries between the documentary participants in pre-production and made it clear to every one of them that they didn’t have to answer every question. Plus, she would respect their requests if they didn’t want something filmed.

Nonetheless, France expressed to them, 

 “The more honest they could be with their feelings, with whatever the trip was bringing up for them, whatever they were learning along the way, however, they feel they were growing or not growing…If they shared it and were willing to talk about what was going on there would be a greater opportunity to help others…”

On its surface, Roll with Me is a story about a man who is trying to push his standard wheelchair across the U.S., overcoming 3100 miles, 70 thousand feet of elevation (to put that into perspective, that is Mt. Everest x2), in the timeline of 100 days. It is an incredibly admirable story and achievement, and yet, Roll With Me still manages to go beyond the inspiring Rocky-esque narrative. 

Roll With Me evolves into a story about Gabe and Christopher’s relationship, but more specifically, the story of Gabe ultimately shepherding Christopher to sobriety. Gabe is no stranger to the struggles of addiction and credits the YMCA for having an instrumental role in his recovery.

Roll With Me

Through the group’s journey across 13 U.S. states, there is a theme of unity and acceptance that runs throughout the film. France recounted to Kulture Hub that it was also a theme that translated across the group’s experience when filming the documentary.

She disclosed how during the group’s time on the road, police, and passers-by continually checked in on the group, as they would encounter the sight of Cordell daringly pushing himself along the highway. She relayed the generous hospitality that was provided to them by churches, local businesses and the several Native American tribes they met along the way.

Amidst the context of a highly divided political climate in the United States and across the world, France stressed the importance of a more hopeful and unifying message and revealed how these occurrences of generosity were one of the many things so moving and rewarding about the project.

Despite so much difference and variance in culture, ability (physical and mental), sexuality and gender between every one of the documentary participants, Roll With Me powerfully exhibits the unity between a group of people who have nothing in common, except their humanity.


View this post on Instagram


The #RollWithMe crew! We r on a 75 day journey together! #inspire #teamwork

A post shared by rollwithmeusa (@rollwithmeusa) on Apr 2, 2013 at 4:49pm PDT

In terms of what she hopes audiences take out of the film, France said,

“I hope that when people watch the film they feel inspired take on something they may have thought was impossible for them.”

France also shared with Kulture Hub her advice to aspiring filmmakers and documentarians, maintaining the importance of being open to where the film will take you thematically. She asserted,

“Don’t get stuck on what you think it should it be. Be open to what it can be. Storytelling is storytelling. Be a good storyteller before you even shoot a frame of the documentary. If you have a really good story, you can shoot on polaroids if you have a good story to tell.”

Roll with Me is France’s first documentary. It is also one of the latest projects to be picked up by Ava DuVernay’s company, Array ReleasingThe documentary is set for theatrical release in Nov. and will also premiere on Netflix Dec. 1st.

Getty Images partners with director Ava DuVernay for new ARRAY Grant

Getty Images is ‘back at it again’ with the blessings. This time the godsent grants arrive in partnership with director Ava DuVernay’s NPO, ARRAY.

Four $5,000 grants will reward two commercial creative photographers and two editorial filmmakers who are shifting cultures in ethnic communities.

Getty Images and ARRAY also promise to provide mentoring support and guidance if any of the photographers and filmmakers are able to visually capture the narrative of underrepresented ethnic communities such as African American, Caribbean, South Asian, Arab, Indigenous or Latinx.

Still, photographers and filmmakers will have to impress a panel of creative gods. Judges Kira Kelly, Atsushi (Jima) Nishijima, Marc Baptiste, and Ramona Rosales will select the winners based on their pictorial skills, cinematography, authenticity, and inclusion.

Not to mention MFon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora founders, Laylah Amatullah Barrayn and Adama Delphine Fawundu, will also be throwing in their two cents.

With such a diverse and prestigious panel like this, how can a grant like this not push the culture forward?

In a press release, Senior Vice President of Creative Content at Getty Images, Andy Saunders spoke on how the “mission is to move the world with images” and how thrilled the global photo stock agency is to work with ARRAY. He said,

“Our perceptions of what is possible are often shaped by what we see, and imagery and film play a powerful role in fighting stereotypes, and in empowering communities to feel represented in society… We are thrilled to be further expanding our Grants program – even more so with an honorable and committed organization like ARRAY, who have already done so much for amplifying voices and ensuring a more inclusive and equitable creative industry.”

This grant initiative is right up ARRAY’s alley. The NPO was launched in 2018 by DuVernay in order to amplify the work of underrepresented women filmmakers and filmmakers of color in an industry that is dominated by white men.

DuVernay spoke on the mission of the Getty Images grant collaboration. She said,

“Our mission is to shift the dominant gaze and create a new normal when it comes to the voices and vision of artists of all kinds, and we are pleased to join forces with Getty Images in this effort.”

ARRAY’s executive director, Maori Karmael Holmes, feels the same way. Through the Getty Images partnership, she hopes to “advocate for more inclusion” and to “initiate real-world impact as a champion of these important storytellers.”

Let’s get it! If your artistic eye lines up with Getty Images and ARRAY’s grant initiative, we suggest you head on over to

Hurry and apply as applications will close on Friday, June 8 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Who knows? You could be the next photographer or filmmaker to shine a light on underrepresented communities and cultures.