A weekly spotlight on inspiring female directors of color and their latest projects.
Susan Youssef is another festival award-winning filmmaker that I follow on Twitter. Her tale of forbidden love in Gaza, “Habibi” is touring this month as part of Human Rights Film Festival, screening in Israel (April 13), London (April 19) and across Switzerland. You can purchase the film on DVD as well. Her next feature, “Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf” has received support from the Doha Institute. The story follows an Arab-American girl who must come to terms with her sexuality (originally a short that played at Sundance).
Sally El Hosaini
I have heard nothing but good things about Sally El Hosaini’s first feature “My Brother The Devil”, a complex coming-of age story featuring two British Arab brothers. For those like me who haven’t seen it yet, the film is opening across U.S. cities this month. This project’s run on the 2012 festival circuit is absolutely inspiring with wins including Best Cinematography at Sundance, Grand Jury Award at Outfest and Best British Newcomer at London Film Festival.
I’ll never forget the time a vibrant Ms. Mahoney asked me a question during my first-ever festival Q&A (both of our films were screening at Urbanworld Film Festival in 2011.) Today her compelling feature debut “Yelling to the Sky”, about a young biracial girl named Sweetness just trying to survive home and school is available on DVD. It’s always great to see Mahoney’s warm replies to fans tweeting that YTS resonated so much with them. She was also recently nominated for Tribeca’s Affinity Award celebrating Black filmmakers, directed a short film titled “Wracked” and is currently working on her second feature “Chalk” (“it’s the story of a person on a hunt to find murder suspects.”)
Romana S. Diaz
I first heard of filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz in a profile on one of my favorite blogs “Women and Hollywood”. Her latest documentary “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey” tells the story of a Filipino Youtuber who was picked to be the new frontman for the band Journey. Diaz’s film has had quite a U.S. tour of its own with screenings at SilverDOCS, Tribeca, San Francisco International Film Festival and winning the Audience award at this year’s Palm Spring International Film Festival. You can catch the doc in theaters or on iTunes and Amazon.