Storytelling is a powerful tool. Yet, today, two in three Black Americans still say they don’t see themselves or their culture represented in movies or television1. As a part of our commitment to Widen The Screen, creative forces like Queen Latifah — cultural music icon, actor, producer and host of the ‘54th NAACP Image Awards’ — come together with us to help Widen the View of the vastness, beauty, joy, and resilience of Black life through signature talent development programs like the Queen Collective.
Launched in 2018, Queen Collective is a partnership between P&G, Queen Latifah, Flavor Unit Entertainment, and Tribeca Studios that has enabled a record number of diverse directors and other creatives. Together with our brands including My Black is Beautiful, Crest, Oral B, and Pampers, the program accelerates gender and racial equality behind the camera by opening doors for the next generation of multicultural women and non-binary directors through mentorship, production support, and distribution opportunities.
Now in its fourth year, Queen Collective returns to our screens with five original documentaries and the program's first scripted short on the weekend of the “54th NAACP Image Awards”. The first of these films GAPS and IN HER ELEMENT will premier during Black History Month on BET on Friday, February 24, and run across BET's platforms, including BET HER, BET Soul, BET Jams, Paramount+, SHO x BET On-Demand, VH1 On-Demand, MTV On-Demand.
Centering New Stories
“When you lack diversity, you don’t get the breadth of stories, and communities and lived experiences,” says Idil Ibrahim, director of IN HER ELEMENT. “Widen The Screen will help us bring Daisha’s story to the masses.”
Ibrahim is an award-winning director, producer and changemaker whose films have screened at the top international film festivals. IN HER ELEMENT follows the journey of Daisha McBride, an up-and-coming hip hop artist in Nashville, Tennessee, as she gets the chance of a lifetime to break boundaries in the global epicenter of country music — and seizes the opportunity.
Also premiering on February 24th, GAPS, the first ever Queen Collective fictional short, follows the story of Sydney Bailey, a 12-year-old struggling with her self-esteem and obsessing over her gapped front teeth. Directed by Jenn Shaw, an award-winning commercial, documentary, and narrative filmmaker specializing in sports, coming-of-age and dramady content, GAPS is an inspiring look into the mind of an imaginative pre-teen who, with support from her tight knit family, finds herself at a crossroads in her journey to self-confidence.
These films centering young Black women and their stories of self-acceptance, love, and actualization reflect Black people’s experiences in America and all over the diaspora. A total of six films by Black women storytellers will be released as part of the Year 4 Queen Collective.
Honoring Black Culture Creators
In addition to the film premieres, more about the Queen Collective program and the films will also be featured during the 54thNAACP Image Awards: Our Stories, Our Culture, and Our Excellence on Saturday, Feb. 25th 8 pm CT on BET. Globally recognized as one of the most distinguished multicultural awards shows, the 54th NAACP Image Awards continue a tradition of excellence, uplifting values that inspire equality, justice, and progressive change, and highlighting artists committed to that purpose.
As part of the “54th NAACP Image Awards” week-long celebration, P&G will conduct a panel event moderated by award-winning entertainment journalist, Gia Peppers, featuring all six dynamic filmmakers from this season. Together with BET, P&G is also the presenting sponsor of the 54th NAACP Image Awards in-show celebration of women filmmakers as part of the “Direct Effect” segment.
Congratulations to Gina Prince-Bythewood and Regina King for their recognition as this year's well-deserved and distinguished Queen Collective Direct Effect honorees! For the past three decades, Gina Prince-Bythewood has made a lasting impact by telling the stories of empowered Black women that Widen The Screen. Hollywood legend, Regina King, has shined at the highest level for 40 years (and counting) as an actor, writer and director, bringing stories that Widen Our View of the vastness, beauty, joy and resilience of Black life to screens.
The award honored their unique perspectives, inspiration to generations, and drive to open doors for so many others to walk through.
Inspiring Inclusive Impact
Our efforts to Widen The Screen to create even more opportunities for Black filmmakers, expand platforms with more stories that Widen the View of Black life and inspire inclusive investment are creating systemic change across the creative industry. Queen Collective has:
- Provided nearly 250 jobs, more than 60% of those were to people of color in the first three years alone;
- Doubled the number of films by female directors of color in Year 4 of the program;
- Contributed to the creation of over 300 minutes of representative content produced as part of the Widen the Screen platform;
- Screened at over 30 film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, Pan African Film Festival, Tribeca Festival, and Martha’s Vineyard’s African American Film Festival, securing multiple awards and recognitions;
- Driven inclusive growth through increased investment in Black owned media companies, including Group Black, Central City Productions and Allen Media Group, as well as in longstanding Black operated partners such as BET and OWN to encourage the elimination of investment inequalities in the creative supply chain and reach diverse audiences with resonant content.
Together with Queen Collective, BET and the NAACP Image Awards, we are telling new stories, changing the images we see, and driving engagement in our call to action to Widen The Screen.
Learn more about Widen The Screen’s impact, watch the premieres of the Queen Collective’s new films GAPS and IN HER ELEMENT on BET and its platforms, and stay tuned as the entire collective of films premiere in the coming months!
1 #Representation Matters report by the National Research Group
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