- NEW YORK
Procter & Gamble once again comes together with Tribeca Studios and its partners to give a platform to Black creators at Tribeca Festival as part of its Juneteenth program. This year, the festival has debuted eight original films from Black creatives and filmmakers. These films are the latest demonstration of P&G’s commitment to Widen the Screen, intended to improve the portrayal of Black life on screen and expand inclusion efforts for Black creators behind the camera in order to challenge expectations and remove limiting stereotypes.
Premiering at Tribeca Festival today (6/18), 8:46 Films is a collaboration with SATURDAY MORNING, a collective of Black creative executives, Tribeca Studios and Procter & Gamble. The four films are influenced by the length of time it took for George Floyd’s life to change the world. Filmmakers Zoey Martinson, Camrus Johnson, Gibrey Allen and Marshall Tyler were inspired to take 8 minutes and 46 seconds to tell stories of joy, love, and resilience, fuel the creativity that has always upheld the Black community in the darkest times, and build a legacy of hope. The films will be available for streaming via Tribeca at Home beginning June 19.
“We came together to create an experience to commemorate George Floyd and to shine an optimistic light on the Black experience,” explained Geoff Edwards, co-founder of SATURDAY MORNING. “We thought that we could reframe that time through storytelling, and saw an opportunity to build an ongoing film series that would pay tribute to George Floyd while giving a voice to up and coming Black filmmakers.”
SATURDAY MORNING brought the idea to Procter & Gamble, whom the group partnered with to produce The Look, the Emmy nominated film and experience about unconscious bias. P&G embraced the idea and incorporated it into its 2021 “Widen the Screen” initiative, a sustained program to address systemic bias and inequality in advertising and media through platforms that celebrate creativity and enables Black creators to share the richness of the Black experience.
“It is time for the world to experience the full view of the joy, beauty and vastness of Black life, brought to the screen through stories told by innovative Black filmmakers and their crews,” said Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer for Procter & Gamble. “P&G is honored to work with our partners at SATURDAY MORNING and Tribeca to premiere the 8:46 Films series, and we are deeply committed to continue to advance equality by bringing meaningful opportunities for Black creators to showcase their talent and creative brilliance.”
The films are:
- Cupids, directed by Zoey Martinson, produced by Korey Jackson. (United States). In this playful comedy, three kids worry that their beloved school bus driver will be lonely this summer without them. They set out to find her a partner and imagine the perfect matches. With Melanie Nicholls-King, Toryn Isabella Coote, Scarlett London Diviney, Julius Sampson.
- She Dreams at Sunrise, directed by Camrus Johnson, produced by Moon Jelly Pictures and Double Plus Productions. (United States). In this heartwarming animated film, a 70-year-old woman with meningitis lives between her dream world and reality while her great nephew and caretaker helps mend the past.
- Pearl and Henry, directed by Gibrey Allen, produced by Greta Hagen-Richardson, Kenneth Reynolds, and Weenta Girmay. (United States). Pearl and Henry enjoy the simple pleasures of their daily routine. Despite the changing world around them, they find comfort and peace in a connection built on decades of joy, vulnerability, and trust. With Rhonda Johnson Dents and Lance E. Nichols.
- Slow Pulse, directed by Marshall Tyler, produced by Moira Griffin, Efuru Flowers and Jeremy Hartman. (United States). In this moving story of love and dedication, Bernard Brash heals and finds hope by learning how to dance. With Jimmie Fails.
“The common thread throughout these four amazing films is the diverse stories of love and the richness of the Black experience as expressed by these directors,” explained Keith Cartwright, co-founder of SATURDAY MORNING. “SATURDAY MORNING’s mission continues to bring to light new ways to address racial inequality. Moving our work into the world of entertainment is a next step in our growth as a movement.”
The return of Queen Collective
Queen Collective, P&G’s signature multicultural talent development initiative in partnership with Queen Latifah, Flavor Unit Entertainment, and Tribeca Studios, continues to accelerate gender and racial equality behind the camera, by opening doors to the next generation of up-and-coming Black women directors, as it returns to the Tribeca Festival for a third year.
The mentoring and talent development program is designed to give women filmmakers of color a platform to share important stories from their unique perspective with the aim of expanding the creative pipeline for Black female creators. Created by four diverse young female directors--Arielle Knight, Tina Charles, Cai Thomas, Haimy Assefa--and having premiered at Tribeca on Thursday (6/17), these documentaries shine a light on important issues directly impacting the Black community such as healthcare, bias and discrimination.
“Less than 6 percent of writers, directors and producers of U.S. films are Black and less than 10 percent of commercials and movies are created by women leading to a lack of diversity and accurate representation of Black people and women of color. Through programs like the Queen Collective and 8:46 we are using our convening power to address the need to increase diversity in the creative pipeline,” said P&G’s Pritchard. “For years we have used our voice as a leading advertiser to highlight bias and shine a light on systemic issues of inequality. We will continue using our voice as a force for good and force for growth to provide empathy and action to drive lasting change.”
“BET is committed to moving the racial and gender equity mission forward by shifting perceptions through content, so we couldn’t be more proud to be the home of the Queen Collective films, and to be forging new connections with female filmmakers of color,” said Tavia Pitts, head of BET HER, VP of ad sales. “The future of the media industry is predicated on our ability to minimize the barriers for entry for diverse creatives, and that has never been more important than now.”
“Queen Collective is a crucial program supporting diverse voices in film and empowering women filmmakers of color to tell stories that evoke change and unite and heal communities, whilst 8:46 Films are an opportunity to celebrate positive, uplifting affirmative stories that show the richness and beauty of Black life,” said Paula Weinstein, Tribeca Studio’s chief content officer. “We are so proud to share the work of these amazing filmmakers as part of Tribeca’s Juneteenth Programming. These powerful stories stand shoulder to shoulder in a fight against discrimination, injustices, and bias--they needed to be told, they needed to be told now and they needed to be told by Black creators. I hope that we all learn, share and grow from them.”
The Queen Collective films are:
- Game Changer, directed and produced by Tina Charles, produced Veronique Bernard. (United States). Tanya DePass, a lifelong Chicagoan and African-American gamer, is determined to make the gaming industry more inclusive for everyone, including people like her.
- Change the Name, directed and produced by Cai Thomas, produced by Donald Conley. (United States). Student activists and educators from Village Leadership Academy campaign to change the name of a park from a slaveholder to abolitionists Anna Murray and Frederick Douglass in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
- Black Birth , directed by Haimy Assefa, produced by Dominique Turner. (United States). Three expectant mothers, including the director, navigate the joys, fears, and complexity of Black motherhood in America.
- A Song of Grace, directed by Arielle Knight, produced by Jamil McGinnis and Jessica Ann Peavy. (United States). A Song of Grace tells a poetic story about a black mother raising an exceptional young artist.
Tune into BET and BET Her on Saturday, June 19, to watch the full Queen Collective program at 9:00 pm ET/PT, with an encore on Sunday, June 20 at 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm ET/PT on BET Her.