84 Films By and About Women of Color, Courtesy of Ava DuVernay


Women and Hollywood by jai tiggett | Women and HollywoodMay 22, 2015 at 10:00AM


If you were on Twitter recently, you might have seen director Ava DuVernay’s clever call to social media to name films with «black, brown, native or Asian women leads» which were also directed by women.

Though it seems like common sense that these films exist, the question proved to be a serious challenge for Twitter, with many listing the same handful of titles.

The clear point is that there are too few films that fit the above criteria, and that those of us claiming to support diversity in entertainment should do our part to change that. All of this helps bolster the case for DuVernay’s AFFRM + Array Releasing, which distributes black films and is in the midst of an annual membership drive.

With efforts like AFFRM, the ACLU’s push for an investigation into Hollywood’s hiring practices and other recent initiatives for the inclusion of women and diverse voices in film, change appears to be on the horizon.

In the meantime, here’s a list of the films that Twitter came up with starring women of color and helmed by women directors. When cross-referenced with data sources from The Black List, Shadow & Act and others, there were about 85 titles that fit the bill.

Find them below. Watch, enjoy and most importantly, support!

«35 Shots of Rum» by Claire Denis (2008)

«A Different Image» by Alile Sharon Larkin (1982)

«A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night» by Ana Lily Amirpour (2014)

«Advantageous» by Jennifer Phang (2015)

«Ala Modalaindi» by Nandini Bv Reddy (2011)

«All About You» by Christine Swanson (2001)

«Alma’s Rainbow» by Ayoka Chenzira (1994)

«Appropriate Behavior» by Desiree Akhavan (2014)

«B For Boy» by Chika Anadu (2013)

«Bande de Filles/Girlhood» by Céline Sciamma (2014)

«Belle» by Amma Asante (2013)

«Bend it Like Beckham» by Gurinder Chadha (2002)

«Bessie» by Dee Rees (2015)

«Beyond the Lights» by Gina Prince-Bythewood (2014)

«Bhaji on the Beach» by Gurinder Chadha (1993)

«Caramel» by Nadine Labaki  (2007)

«Circumstance» by Maryam Keshavarz (2011)

«Civil Brand» by Neema Barnette (2002)

«Compensation» by Zeinabu irene Davis (1999)

«Daughters of the Dust» by Julie Dash (1991)

«Double Happiness » by Mina Shum (1994)

«Down in the Delta» by Maya Angelou (1998)

«Drylongso» by Cauleen Smith (1988)

«Earth» by Deepa Mehta (1998)

«Elza» by Mariette Monpierre (2011)

«Endless Dreams» by Susan Youssef (2009

«Eve’s Bayou» by Kasi Lemmons (1997)

«Fire» by Deepa Mehta (1996)

«Frida» by Julie Taymor (2002)

«Girl in Progress» by Patricia Riggen (2012)

«Girlfight» by Karyn Kusama (2000)

«Habibi Rasak Kharban» by Susan Youssef (2011)

«Hiss Dokhtarha Faryad Nemizanand (Hush! Girls Don’t Scream)» by Pouran Derahkandeh (2013)

«Honeytrap» by Rebecca Johnson (2014)

«I Like It Like That» by Darnell Martin (1994)

«I Will Follow» by Ava DuVernay (2010

«In Between Days» by So-yong Kim (2006)

«Introducing Dorothy Dandridge» by Martha Coolidge (1999)

«It’s a Wonderful Afterlife» by Gurinder Chadha (2010)

«Jumpin Jack Flash» by Penny Marshall (1986)

«Just Another Girl on the IRT» by Leslie Harris (1992)

«Just Wright» by Sanaa Hamri (2010)

«Kama Sutra» by Mira Nair (1996)

«Losing Ground» by Kathleen Collins (1982)

«Love & Basketball» by Gina Prince-Bythewood (2000)

«Luck by Chance» by Zoya Akhtar (2009)

«Mi Vida Loca» by Allison Anders (1993)

«Middle of Nowhere» by Ava DuVernay (2012)

«Mississippi Damned» by Tina Mabry (2009)

«Mississippi Masala» by Mira Nair (1991)

«Mixing Nia» by Alison Swan (1998)

«Monsoon Wedding» by Mira Nair (2001)

«Mosquita y Mari» by Aurora Guerrero (2012)

«Na-moo-eobs-neun san (Treeless Mountain)» by So-yong Kim (2008)

«Night Catches Us» by Tanya Hamilton (2010)

«Pariah» by Dee Rees (2011)

«Picture Bride» by Kayo Hatta (1994)

«Rain» by Maria Govan (2008)

«Real Women Have Curves» by Patricia Cardoso (2002)

«Saving Face» by Alice Wu (2004)

«Second Coming» by Debbie Tucker Green (2014)

«Something Necessary» by Judy Kibinge (2013)

«Something New» by Sanaa Hamri (2006)

«Still the Water» by Naomi Kawase  (2014)

«Stranger Inside» by Cheryl Dunye (2001)

«Sugar Cane Alley/Black Shack Alley» by Euzhan Palcy (1983)

«The Kite» by Randa Chahal Sabag (2003)

«The Rich Man’s Wife» by Amy Holden Jones (1996)

«The Secret Life of Bees» by Gina Prince-Bythewood (2008)

«The Silence of the Palace» by Moufida Tlatli (1994)

«The Watermelon Woman» by Cheryl Dunye (1996)

«The Women of Brewster Place» by Donna Deitch (1989)

«Their Eyes Were Watching God» by Darnell Martin (2005)

«Things We Lost in the Fire» by Susanne Bier  (2007)

«Wadjda» by Haifaa Al-Mansour (2012)

«Water» by Deepa Mehta (2005)

«Whale Rider» by Niki Caro  (2002)

«What’s Cooking?» by Gurinder Chadha (2000)

«Where Do We Go Now?» by Nadine Labaki  (2011)

«Whitney» by Angela Bassett (2015)

«Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day» by Neema Barnette (2012)

«Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl» by Joan Chen (1998)

«Yelling to the Sky» by Victoria Mahoney (2011)

«Young and Wild» by Marialy Rivas (2012)

What are your favorite films that tell the stories of women of color, which are also directed by women?

jai tiggett is a writer, content creator and curator. Find her at jaitiggett.com. 

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