Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
This "Faith-Based" Drama Is Giving 'Straight Outta Compton' a Run for Its Money This Weekend... This "Faith-Based" Drama Is Giving 'Straight Outta Compton' a Run for Its Money This Weekend... Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor Biopic Is Officially Ready to Go (Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Hudson) Lee Daniels' Richard Pryor Biopic Is Officially Ready to Go (Mike Epps, Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Kate Hudson) Watch 5 Clips from Regina King's Feature Directorial Debut 'Let The Church Say Amen' Starring Naturi Naughton Watch 5 Clips from Regina King's Feature Directorial Debut 'Let The Church Say Amen' Starring Naturi Naughton Righting a Past Wrong? Academy to Present Spike Lee with Honorary Oscar Righting a Past Wrong? Academy to Present Spike Lee with Honorary Oscar African-American Female Team Produce Indie Horror Film ‘The Dark Rite’ African-American Female Team Produce Indie Horror Film ‘The Dark Rite’ Viola Davis Says She Will Star in a Film Adaptation of 'Fences' Directed by Denzel Washington Viola Davis Says She Will Star in a Film Adaptation of 'Fences' Directed by Denzel Washington "This Is a Relationship" - Watch Michael Ealy Frighten Sanaa Lathan in Tense First Clip From 'The Perfect Guy' "This Is a Relationship" - Watch Michael Ealy Frighten Sanaa Lathan in Tense First Clip From 'The Perfect Guy' Vin Diesel Says He's Returning for a 'xXx' Threequel - Filming to Start in December Vin Diesel Says He's Returning for a 'xXx' Threequel - Filming to Start in December Updates on Steve McQueen's "Epic" Series Centered on a Black Community in London, Over 3 Decades Updates on Steve McQueen's "Epic" Series Centered on a Black Community in London, Over 3 Decades This Is What Angela Bassett and Naomi Campbell Will Look Like in 'American Horror Story: Hotel' This Is What Angela Bassett and Naomi Campbell Will Look Like in 'American Horror Story: Hotel' Quentin Tarantino Says 'The Hateful Eight' Will Be Timely & Will Tackle White Supremacy Quentin Tarantino Says 'The Hateful Eight' Will Be Timely & Will Tackle White Supremacy But What About Black Superheroines, You Ask? Watch Episode 1 of CW Seed's Vixen Series But What About Black Superheroines, You Ask? Watch Episode 1 of CW Seed's Vixen Series Watch: Trailer for Miniseries Based on Life of Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz (Coming This Fall) Watch: Trailer for Miniseries Based on Life of Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz (Coming This Fall) Watch: First Look at Season Three of 'Hit the Floor' Watch: First Look at Season Three of 'Hit the Floor' Brad Pitt's Plan B + 'Ex Machina' Distribution Company Team up for Barry Jenkins' 'Moonlight' Brad Pitt's Plan B + 'Ex Machina' Distribution Company Team up for Barry Jenkins' 'Moonlight' Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji Join Issa Rae in 'Insecure' for HBO Jay Ellis and Yvonne Orji Join Issa Rae in 'Insecure' for HBO Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... AFM News: Danny Glover, Derek Luke Will Play Prison Inmates In 3D Drama 'Long Day Journey' AFM News: Danny Glover, Derek Luke Will Play Prison Inmates In 3D Drama 'Long Day Journey'

A Call For Black Women Horror Film Directors...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 13, 2013 at 11:17AM

A Call For Black Women Horror Film Directors...
17
Horror

This news reminded me of a 2010 item I published on the old S&A site, on black women horror film directors.

First a quick test: how many women directors can you name who've directed horror films? Kathryn Bigelow immediately comes to mind. Check out Near Dark if you haven’t already; although horror isn’t the milieu in which she typically (or only) works.

Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David Lynch) is another.

Now how many black women horror filmmakers can you name? Or maybe I should first ask, how many black women filmmakers (forget genre) can you name?

It’s not typically a genre in which you’ll find a wealth of women directors working; horror films are typically regarded as a playground for boys, both the makers and the audience. But girls like them too, don’t they - whether making them, or watching them, or both?

In that 2010 piece, I highlighted the Viscera Film Festival, which was hosting its first ever event that year, in Los Angeles, with some 35 horror short films screened - every single one of them directed by a woman filmmaker. However, in browsing the selections, I didn’t immediately recognize any of the directors listed as being of African descent, given this blog's interests. 

So I put out a call for black women directors of horror films, and I received 2 or 3 responses, which I highlighted in separate posts on the old S&A site.

Over 3 years later, with the site's readership now much larger than it was then (a year or so after its initial launch), I thought I'd revisit that inquiry, hoping that I'll receive even more responses than I did back then.

As I said earlier, this was prompted by American Film Market news announced yesterday that a “landmark all-female horror anthology” film is in the works, with each segment featuring a female director and female lead. Directors on board so far include the aforementioned Jennifer Lynch, as well as Mary Harron, Karyn Kusama, The Soska Sisters, and Jovanka Vuckovic

I'm quite sure none of them is of African descent. Although if I'm wrong about that, someone will certainly correct me. 

MPI/Dark Sky Films and XYZ Films are all behind the project, with Todd Brown producing. 

“We know that women make up about half of the audience for horror films, and yet the female creative voice has been nearly silent in the horror genre,” said Greg Newman, Executive Vice President of Dark Sky Films parent company MPI Media Group. “So we are thrilled about the new and distinct approach that these talented directors will bring to the project.” 

Todd Brown added: “One of the givens of so many horror films has been the objectification of young women, and we thought it was time for a different approach to scaring audiences and letting the female voice be heard.”

It looks like the list of directors involved in this project isn't yet complete, so there's certainly a chance that a black woman director will be join effort. Who that might be, I can't say. Black women directors working within the industry aren't fully represented, let alone those that work specifically within a genre like horror. However, on the independent circuit, I'm sure there are several black women directors who would absolutely love to be given an opportunity like this one. 

But who?

So, I'm making the inquiry that I made in 2010, again: if you're a black woman director who has a horror film (or horror films) on her resume (whether shorts or features), or if horror is a genre in which you'd love to work, I'd love to know who you are, and check out your work, and maybe even highlight it here. After all, you never know who's reading. The producers of the above anthology just might be looking to diversify the project's list of directors, and they just might be looking here.

Email me at obensont@gmail.com.

This article is related to: Things That Make You Go Hmm...


Shadow & ActNewsletter