Yesterday, a monumental moment occurred on Twitter: filmmaker and diversity in film champion, Ava DuVernay hosted a 12-hour rebel-a-thon through her film collective, AFFRM (African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement) along with 40+ filmmakers. Through #ARRAY, Ava, the filmmakers and the Twitter community-at-large touched on topics of diversity, African-American tropes, multi-faceted character development, excelling in the industry and more.
In light of recent Oscar snubs and the Hollywood industry sometimes portraying one-dimensional stories, this rebel-a-thon was much needed. As No Lies Told Then recently kicked-off our online endeavors around our film and the themes it transcends, #ARRAY came at the right time. Here's how the rebel-a-thon resonated with our community...
We're Out Here
#ARRAY trended worldwide and thousands rallied together on the 140-character social media platform to talk varied voices and visions. If this isn't an indication that we're out here, and ready to see more of our stories, then I don't know what is.
Seek and Speak Your Truth
The 40+ filmmakers that gathered together in support of #ARRAY dished out lessons and advice throughout the day. The most important: seek and speak your truth. From Debbie Allen to Malcolm D. Lee to Ryan Coogler, these filmmakers were keen on speaking their truth whether it was through drama, entertainment or social issues. For example Ryan Coogler was asked, "what inspires your vision before writing?" His response: A situation that is overwhelming or a question I don't know the answer to. For Ryan, a film like Fruitvale Station was his way of seeking and speaking truth to the story of Oscar Grant.
If not now, when?
Often we hesitate on telling our story in lieu of fear, doubt or our self-critical voice. No Lies Told Then writer, Torri R. Oats heard the story of Sandra and neglected it until she realized it needed to be written. "She would speak to me randomly over the years until I finally told the story she wanted to tell," said Torri. The filmmakers that gathered around #ARRAY understood the timing of now. They knew their specific stories needed to be told, so they silenced their self-critical voice and fully pursued the making of their respective films.
Yesterday's rebel-a-thon was a constant 140-character reminder of the need for No Lies Told Then and the digital navigation of its journey. The varied stories of our community is very present, ready to be captured by talented creatives willing to speak our truth.
What are you doing to support diversity in film? Looking to back No Lies Told Then, then donate here. For more information about ARRAY, visit arrayaction.com.