Friday, 12, August, 2022

Black Consciousness | We want more black representation in the audiovisual

The audiovisual industry has been betting on more space for black protagonism

Representativeness is very important, as it shows that within this space occupied by white men, black people can also occupy prominent positions. The movie Black Panther with good box office numbers, drew attention to a very current theme: the black representation in cinema. Both on the big screen, with a mostly black cast made up of names like boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett and Sterling K. Brown, how much behind it: the film is directed by Ryan Coogler and has a production designer for hannah beachler (who participated in the feature Moonlight: Under the moonlight and on the powerful and empowered record of Beyonce, lemonade), all black.

In addition to showing representation on screen, the film brings other interesting aspects such as African culture, the strength of blacks and women and the concept of Afrofuturism (aesthetic, cultural and political movement that unites science fiction and African mythology with the abuse of technology) . All this corroborates to promote more racial and gender inclusion in audiovisual productions.

Read too We already checked out Black Panther! Forever Wakanda !! No spoilers

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T'Challa and Nakia / Reproduction Rachel Morrison – Disney

In the Brazilian scene, we have the filmmaker, screenwriter, actress and producer from Rio de Janeiro, Sabrina Hidalgo, which comments on the need for professionals not only in front of the cameras, but behind them as well. For Fidalgo, there is still a need to conquer space, especially at the top of the evolutionary chain of creation. The black presence in front of the cameras is not enough, as decisions, aesthetic vision and narratives are behind the cameras.

In this footprint of black representation in national cinema, the films produced by Sabrina Fidalgo have already been shown in more than 300 national and international festivals, with an emphasis on the fictional short film Queen, with actress Ana Flavia Cavalcanti, who plays Rita, a young woman who dreams of becoming the drummer queen of her community's samba school and when she finally succeeds, she starts to face obscure situations in her life.

We talked with Sabrina about the importance of black people in the audiovisual sector. Check out!

Thunder Wave: What are the biggest challenges that a black filmmaker faces in Brazil?

Sabrina Hidalgo: Stigma and deletion.

TW: As a filmmaker, how was your trajectory? What was the project that moved you the most?

SF: My trajectory comes from far away, it starts with my ancestry. My grandmother is a poet and storyteller, my parents were the founders of Teatro Profissional do Negro and I am the result of all of this. The project that moved me the most was my first short film, “Sonar 2006 – Special Report”, as it was my first work. I was very impacted when I saw the finished movie.

TW: In your opinion, which ways to have a more inclusive and democratic audiovisual?

SF: I think there has to be an open and broad dialogue with society and companies on this issue. And I think that black people in this country must increasingly take a stand and demand inclusion in the productions they consume. I only consume products that represent me, for example. I think this is one of the ways, to show the power of our capital. 

TW: How was the experience of being the president of the jury at the Gramado Film Festival and what is the importance of this for society?

SF: It was not easy. But I had wonderful people in this composition of the jury who helped me a lot, such as my dear friend and teacher Jeferson De. I think it's very important that society gets more and more used to black women in positions of power. It's still not much, but the trend is increasing. 

TW: Do you believe that the presence of black professionals (actors, screenwriters, etc) is increasing in the mainstream industry or is there still a need to gain more space?

SF: It remains to conquer space, especially at the top of the evolutionary chain of creation. The black presence in front of the cameras is not enough, as decisions, aesthetic vision and narratives are behind the camera. Unfortunately, black professionals still do not occupy these positions proportionately. 

Read too Warner Bros. is looking for a black director and actor to lead the next Superman movie

TW: We are currently facing a pandemic that has made more evident the problems that affect not only Brazil, but the world. How the audiovisual can circumvent this situation and bring to light the fact that we need to see the next? Whether on racial or gender issues, in terms of social structure, finally, identify the problems and show that everyone matters.

SF: I don't know how the audiovisual can get around this situation. But I believe that the diversity of views and narratives can indeed lead to productions with bolder, more authentic and more human stories.

TW: For you, Brazilian cinema is…?

SF: …still the harbinger of something incredible that will only actually materialize when there is truly democratic cinematography. 

TW: What advice would you give to a black woman who aspires to a prominent position in the audiovisual?

SF: I would tell her to believe in yourself a lot and to move forward without breaking down in the takedowns. The will to power has to be much greater than all the challenges that come along the way.

The audiovisual has been transforming and showing some very significant changes. However, it is the public's duty to say what they want from their consumption to publicly charge, honest representation in every way. We need to see more black people, more LGBTs, more minorities – which are the majority – in front and behind the screens.

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