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    What issues did Black Women Filmmakers face?

    Black women filmmakers have faced both gender and race inequality in their field; despite the hurdles, noteworthy contributions have been made throughout the history of cinema by black women who have broken through the celluloid ceiling to become pioneers in filmmaking.

    It has been tough for black women to break into the film industry. ‘The film business remains largely white and male,’ writes Nsenga Burton for The Root. ‘There is a considerable body of work generated by Black women film/video makers, dating back to the early part of this century,’ Jacqueline Bobo writes in her book Black Women Film and Video Artists. Unfortunately, the book has been neglected not just by many distributors, but also by critical reviews and scholarly analyses, which have been few and far between, with the exception of those by Black women scholars.

    Black Women filmmakers

    Not just a lack of numbers, but also a lack of influence, is one of the difficulties preventing Black girls from participating in filmmaking. Ada Gay Griffin examines the issues in telling a Black story in film in Seizing the Moving Image, which cannot be solved by hiring a few black actors or hiring black crews to produce the film, but rather by seizing control of the image; Griffin argues that this can be done by gaining production ownership of Black women-made films and by Black women gaining more studio executive positions in the film industry, which is severely lacking in this regard.

    As a result, while Black women filmmakers have become increasingly unnoticed in Hollywood, they still exist only on the outside of the business. In other words, while it may appear that black women filmmakers are few in number, there are many black women filmmakers who are active in the film industry.

    According to Jacqueline Bobo, an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara’s women’s studies program, the general public views Black women’s work as small, irregular, and only of importance to a small group of intimate friends.

    Also READ: Which Hollywood movie includes a scene of Mumbly pegs?

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