More Opportunities for Everyone Who Isn't Male and/or White in Film Could Be Happening
Last year's Best Picture Argo taught us a few things about the film industry — It can save the world and is pretty much run by white men with bad haircuts, which, sadly, probably hasn't changed all that much since the 1970's. For every Kathryn Bigelow there are about 100 white men calling the shots behind the camera, on camera, and in the office. However, things in Hollywood have been changing as of late. Women were the biggest money-makers and power-players in 2013 according to Forbes and big news was just released for Imagine Entertainment. The company behind some of the most critically-lauded and commercially successful films and television series — like Arrested Development, Frost/Nixon, 24, and The DaVinci Code, just to name a few — has just announced Erica Huggins as the company's new President.
Huggins has been with Imagine for a decade and was behind projects such as J. Edgar starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Clint Eastwood and currently on The Heart of the Sea starring Chris Hemsworth and directed by Ron Howard. I know what you're thinking, "Hey wait, those are both examples of films starring-in and directed-by the demographic you were just whinging about in the previous paragraph." It might seem at first glance that Huggins might just keep things as status quo in terms of opportunities for women and minorities in film, but in reality, things are getting more balanced.
However, let's take a look at Huggins' three most-recent projects as a Producer — Get on Up, the James Brown biopic; Made in America, the documentary that followed Jay-Z's massive summer festival in Philadelphia; and Katy Perry: Part of Me. If this tells us anything about Huggins as a producer, it's that she's likely to continue producing films that feature a wider variety of individuals and appeal to more diverse audiences and interests. Oh, and Get on Up will star Octavia Spencer, Jill Scott, and Viola Davis. Talk about a powerhouse cast (Though the project is written and directed by white dudes, grumble).
Having Erica Huggins as the President of Imagine Entertainment won't solve Hollywood's problem of stifling the voices of those who aren't white and/or male, but it's certainly a step toward a more representative film industry. The more women and minorities calling the shots, the more (we hope), opportunities will arise for women and minorities.