- Friday, Mar. 24, 2017
When Moonlight was awarded the Best Picture Oscar just moments after it had been erroneously given to La La Land, media coverage centered on what went wrong to lead to the biggest gaffe in Academy Awards history.
But somewhat lost in the immediate shuffle was what the films represented—La La Land being stirring feel-good entertainment that’s an homage to Hollywood while Moonlight shined an empathetic light on various characters including a black, gay, born-into-poverty protagonist whom many viewers wouldn’t have otherwise encountered in their lives.
Ultimately Academy voters gravitated toward the value of walking in someone else’s shoes, providing an empathy and understanding that are sorely needed in today’s polarized us vs. them, argumentative and often alienating times.
That empathetic bent is reflected in our spring Directors Series with profiles on directors such as: Derek Cianfrance of RadicalMedia who won the DGA Award for commercials on the strength of work that included Powerade’s “Power Through” campaign spot which introduces us to a female football player who excels despite a nay-saying coach; Reed Morano who via Pulse Films made her first major ad splash with Saatchi’s “How Do You See Me?” featuring a girl with Down syndrome who shares how she sees herself; and Cole Webley who helmed the 84 Lumber Super Bowl spot which drives us to his online piece depicting the journey of a mother and daughter from Mexico to the U.S. border.
Also evoking empathy through their work are several in our Up-and-Coming Directors feature story, including Dan & Antonio of Moxie Pictures whose feature Dina won the Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Dina tells an unconventional love story between two people who have autism spectrum disorder.
And our Cinematographers & Cameras series includes coverage of a DP, Simon Niblett, who shot The Eagle Huntress, a feature documentary centering on the 13-year-old Aisholopan, a girl living in Mongolia and aspiring to be an eagle hunter, a role that is male dominated.
It’s said that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And as reflected in our Directors Series, when you walk in someone else’s shoes, that journey can lead to meaningful discovery.