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Queen Latifah talks supporting female filmmakers

SUPPORTING FEMALE FILMMAKERS: Queen Latifah

QUEEN LATIFAH has had her fair share of success and the multi-talented, award-winning actress’s career, which has spanned three decades and multiple disciplines, shows no signs of slowing down. Now she’s helping other women to get their shine.

Last year, the 49-year-old launched The Queen Collective, a programme that helps female filmmakers to create projects by giving them with funding and a platform to launch their work, as well as supporting them with mentoring throughout the process.

The initiative aims to improve gender and race representation behind the camera.

Two black women, Brittany Fennell, also known as B Monét, and Haley Elizabeth Anderson were chosen to participate in the programme and now their documentaries, Ballet After Dark and If There Is Light are available to stream on Hulu after being premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in April.

Shortly before the films were debuted, Queen Latifah shared how she felt about helping other women behind the camera get their work in front of audiences.

“I’m so proud and I’m so excited. For me to help facilitate this it means, you know, thank God. I thank the good Lord for putting me in a position to be able to help do this but it’s really about allowing them to tell their story, it’s really not so much about me. I’m just here to do whatever I can to make sure that they can tell their own stories,” Queen Latifah said during an interview with Build Series.

“And I’m telling you when you see these movies, you’re gonna be like wow. They blow me away in their own ways,” she added.

Her input has been praised by the programme’s participants.

B Monét told HuffPost: “To be given money, not even just $5,000, but adequate resources to make a short film is mind-blowing.

“I think what also is so great is that we have mentorship and support. Because I’ve not always had that, and so it’s just really beautiful to have different mentors,” she added.

Queen Latifah said she believed there was “tons and tons” of work still to be done in the entertainment industry to ensure stories from women and people of colour have a platform to tell the narratives they wish to. But she said that she believed there was a cultural shift taking place in general, pointing to movements such as #MeToo and Times Up.

“Whatever that story is, you should be able to and you shouldn’t be hindered by being a woman or being a woman of colour,” she said.

In addition to supporting young, emerging talent, Queen Latifah is also developing a miniseries on Salt-N-Pepa and a hip hop musical for Netflix.

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