Upcoming releases including Julius Onah’s sci-fi thriller God Particle, demonstrate stories that capture us in universal narratives are positively changing the norm. But TV has long outpaced film in representing black images and our varied experiences. Viola Davis’ JuVee Productions family sitcom The Zipcoders is on trend in this regard. Where for several years our stories were introduced to mainstream audiences sparingly, this week there is no shortage of options to love.
- ‘God Particle’
God Particle is a sci-fi thriller by Julius Onah (The Girl Is In Trouble), being produced by JJ Abrams, and is the third addition to the Cloverfield series. The series features storylines around the existence of extraterrestrial beings landing on Earth and monsters. Gugu Mbatha Raw and David Oyelowo co-star and prove that blacks and science mix very well.
2. ‘The Zipcoders’
Viola Davis provides an image of an educated, strong and respected black woman on How To Get Away With Murder. Now, she is contributing to a very unique and new story about the loss of hope and surprisingly, what it can inspire. The Zipcoders sold to ABC by Davis and husband Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions, is a period sitcom that will focus on black teens who start a rock band in late 1960s in Austin, TX.
If not already interesting, the family makes this move following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The sitcom sets a comedic frame around one of America’s hostile, trying and most uncertain times. With Viola Davis and ABC behind it, The Zipcoders is sure to be something we’ll be loving when it airs.
3. A Black Heather
The 1980s was a period where movies about the white high school student experience were rampant. Heathers , a dark comedy, may have differed in genre from other films covering the teen theme, but still similarly championed the misfits of high school life. Unsurprisingly, it also managed to exclude black main characters. However, in TV Land’s television adaptation of Heathers, actress Jasmine Matthews has been cast as one of the title characters. We love seeing this, as the more black talent cast in roles previously imagined for people of color will certainly give us more to love.
and what’s not to love about this??!!
4. Diversity Director’s Program
There is often push to place people of color in front of the camera as actors, or at the writer’s table. But now efforts to include diverse voices in entertainment are being extended to the director’s chair. Disney / ABC Television Group launched its 2016 – 18 Directors Program in accordance with its diversity initiative to recognize talented artists of varying ethnic backgrounds. The two-year long program will have ten participants shadow on Disney and ABC channel series. Alumni of the program have gone on to direct almost eighty episodes of Disney and ABC channel series, and include Emmy award winner Regina King (American Crime).
The Black TV & Film Collective a 501c3 organization that operates as a NYC film collective. In our work, we support all artists of color including but not limited to black filmmakers. We are a collaborative platform that represents diversity in film and supports inclusion in Hollywood and TV. Our professional network of New York City filmmakers gives knowledge to those who want to learn how to produce film, how to make a web series, how to budget film projects and more. We host NYC film workshops that welcome a variety of experience levels from first time filmmakers who are either students in film school or to notables within the television and film industry. See how you can make a difference in the world of cinema by becoming a member of our NYC film collective.
April Guscott is a Brooklyn native and creative writer who has a love of storytelling across all mediums. April has written short stories, poetry, essays and now turns her attention to screenwriting and blogging. April is an active member of the Black TV