This year we have seen the magic of #melanin all over Hollywood movies, both in front and behind the camera. From Black Panther to A Wrinkle In Time, several films in 2018 have featured Black actors, directors, producers and cinematographers. Representation matters so much, and the fact that we're seeing more and more movies being led by Black men and women is not only exciting, but necessary. In 2016, a study by The Washington Post found that 89 percent of Hollywood filmmakers are male, and 84 percent are white, with roughly half of them 60 or older. By having more people of color behind the scenes, the Black community can finally get some much-needed diversity on-screen. And it's already happening, as shown by these eight summer 2018 movies made by Black directors, producers and cinematographers.
The movies coming out this summer made by Black filmmakers range from action-packed crime stories to horror-filled thrillers. There's the recently released Star Wars installment Solo, a movie featuring the hilarious Tiffany Haddish, the scary Slender Man, and much more. These films are all worth a watch, and by doing so you'll be supporting the Black talent behind-the-scenes.
1. Solo: A Star Wars Story (In Theaters Now)
Solo explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca. The movie features the work of cinematographer Bradford Young, and you've probably seen his work before if you're a fan of the movies Arrival, Pariah, Middle of Nowhere or Selma.
2. Superfly (June 13)
SuperFly is a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation crime film. It stars Trevor Jackson as the career criminal Youngblood Priest, who's trying to find his way out of the Atlanta drug scene. However, as his sales go up, he makes a mistake that could threaten his life. Superfly is directed by Director X, an American filmmaker who's made the documentaries The Carter Effect and Kanye West: College Dropout — Video Anthology.
3. Uncle Drew (June 29)
Directed by Charles Stone III, Uncle Drew stars Lil Rel Howery as Dax, a Harlem native who wishes to win the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem. Dax invests all of his money into the tournament and calls on a legendary basketball player named Uncle Drew (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) to create a team and help him win. The movie stars actors like Tiffany Haddish and Shaquille O’Neal, and Stone, meanwhile, is known for directing Drumline featuring Nick Cannon, Mr. 3000 and Lila & Eve.
4. Sorry To Bother You (July 6)
Written and directed by rapper Boots Riley, Sorry To Bother You is a dystopian film featuring a young black telemarketer Cassius Green (LaKeith Stanfield) who discovers a way to professional success and uses it to propel forward into a place he's never seen before. This is Riley's directorial debut.
5. The Equalizer 2 (July 20)
Director Antoine Fuqua brings the heat for this sequel starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall, a man seeking justice for the murder of his longtime friend Susan (Melissa Leo). McCall decides to return to his old ways of vigilante justice by seeking to punish any person who had a hand at Susan's murder. Fuqua is no stranger to the action genre; he's made the films The Magnificent Seven, Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen and Brooklyn's Finest.
6. BlacKkKlansman (Aug. 10)
Directed by Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman follows Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Stallworth is determined to make a name for himself so he sets out to infiltrate and expose the local Ku Klux Klan with his colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), by going undercover. The movie's subject matter is no surprise coming from Lee, who's famous for films that have class and racial themes like Do The Right Thing, Bamboozled and She's Gotta Have It.
7. Alpha (Aug. 17)
A young man (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is left nearly dead in the wild and struggles to survive. He finds help in a lone wolf abandoned by its pack and the two become unlikely allies. Alpha is directed by Albert Hughes, who has also made Menace II Society, The Book of Eli and Knights of the South Bronx.
8. Slender Man (Aug. 24)
If you're into horror films, Slender Man is just for you. Directed by Sylvain White, the movie follows four teenage girls in a small town who perform a ritual to debunk the lore of a tall, thin, horrifying figure known as the Slender Man. French-born filmmaker Sylvain White has directed movies such as Stomp The Yard, The Losers and the French film Miséreré.
Make sure to catch all these movies this summer and support Black filmmakers whenever possible.