Empowering Visionaries: The Queen Collective Transforms the Film Landscape

“It’s a collaboration aimed to make sure we tell our own stories.”

In an era when the images we see and stories we tell matter even more, the Queen Collective

has emerged as a beacon of change, bringing more visions and voices of Black filmmakers to the screen. Developed in collaboration with Procter & Gamble, the illustrious Queen Latifah, Latifah’s co-founded Flavor Unit Entertainment, and Tribeca Studios, this signature initiative is a testament to the power of mentorship, fellowship, production support, and distribution opportunities.

”It’s a collaboration aimed to make sure we tell our own stories,” says Queen Latifah. “Stories that deserve to be celebrated.”

The Queen Collective is more than just a program; it’s a transformative force seeking to propel the next generation of multicultural directors into the spotlight. At its core, the Queen Collective champions the voices of women and nonbinary filmmakers of color, providing a platform to share their unique narratives and perspectives.

Over the last year, the Queen Collective released six new films — five original documentaries and one scripted short — by filmmakers Imani Dennison, Luchina Fisher, Contessa Gayles, Idil Ibrahim, Vashni Korin, and Jenn Shaw. Each work serves as a poignant expression of the varied experiences of Black women, driving a narrative that goes beyond traditional boundaries.

“The mentorship support alone has been life-changing,” says Dennison, who created Bone Black: Midwives vs. The South with Pampers to highlight the critical labor of Black birth workers in the American South.

Mentorship is a cornerstone of the Queen Collective, recognizing that guidance from industry veterans can be a game-changer. Through this program, emerging directors find themselves under the wing of seasoned professionals who can provide access and opportunity, learning not only the technical aspects of filmmaking but also gaining insights into navigating an industry that has historically been exclusive.

“The Queen Collective has created a unique opportunity to get to that next step in our careers,” says Contessa Gayles, Founder Girls director. Gayles’ feature — an ode to girlhood that documents young Black girls at a week-long camp — is reflective of the My Black Is Beautiful mission of empowerment.

 Queen Latifah’s involvement adds a touch of stardust to the initiative. Her influence as a seasoned actress and a trailblazing entrepreneur amplifies the program’s reach and impact. It’s a fusion of talent and advocacy, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond the confines of the film industry.

In short, Queen Collective is creating change in an industry that craves fresh perspectives. As we witness the evolution of cinema through the lens of the Queen Collective, it becomes clear that the future of filmmaking is not just diverse—it’s authentically, beautifully, and unapologetically inclusive.

“Art has power,” says Jenn Shaw, the director of Gaps, a film sponsored by Crest and Oral-B’s Closing America’s Smile Gap program that is helping to end oral health inactivity in underserved communities. “Being a filmmaker, I love to use that power to make sure that we can see each other on screen but also translate all those positive emotions into everyday life.”

Watch the video above to learn more about the Queen Collective and its creators.

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