#OscarsSoColorful: How Women and Minorities Are Making Themselves Heard in the Film Industry

The annual Academy Awards, and the film industry itself, have been dominated by cisgendered white men for far too long. With recent mold-breaking and empowering movements such as Time’s Up, and hashtags such as #OscarsSoWhite, minorities of all kinds are speaking out, demanding justice, and proving their talents.

At Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, we saw history being made, as Jordan Peele is the first black person to win an Oscar for Original Screenplay, winning for his film Get Out. Tiffany Haddish even made a joke about questioning if the Oscars became “too black,” following the backlash regarding lack of minority Oscar nominations which started the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite in 2015. And Rachel Morrison is the first woman, and out lesbian, to be nominated for an Oscar for Cinematography, for the film Mudbound. Although these are some amazing achievements that made 2018’s Oscars one to remember, this is only the beginning. Greta Gerwig, nominated for both Original Screenplay and Directing for her film Lady Bird, was the only woman in the Directing category.

According to a 2018 report by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, a mere 8.1% of film writers and 12.6% of film directors are minorities. Only 13.8% of film writers and 6.9% of film directors are women. You do not have to be a statistical analyst to see that these numbers are low.

lupita and kumail

Despite these low numbers, 32.9 million people watched the Oscars on Sunday, which represented women and minorities more openly than past years. Lupita Nyong’o, a Kenyan-Mexican, and Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani-American, both minorities and immigrants in the film industry, gave a beautiful speech highlighting the importance of believing in yourself no matter where you come from. No dream is too big, and they are both proof of this. Frances McDormand, who wound up winning the Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for her work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, dedicated her winning speech to not only empowering women, but by encouraging equality. As the quirky and outspoken Frances McDormand asked all of the nominated women to stand up from their chairs, there was a sense of pride and hope in the room that could be witnessed by watching the ceremony from one’s living room couch. With the freshness of the Time’s Up movement in Hollywood, which battles sexual misconduct in the workplace, having been birthed from the primarily female victims of sexual misconduct who have spoken out, the feminist energy in the room was welcomed. Although some do not like the Hollywood scene putting in their two cents when it comes to politics, Sunday night’s Oscars was uplifting and seemingly unproblematic. These stars spoke with positivity, as if voices belonging to the voiceless were emanating out from them.

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People are standing up and fighting for equality, which is all good and dandy, but the numbers still need some work. So what can we do to further improve these statistics? Go to the theater and see films that promote diversity and consist of diverse casts and crews. Speak up on social media, using hashtags to encourage and critique these films. Everyone has a say, everyone has a voice; you may just not know it yet.

Check out Rachel Morrison’s inspiring interview with TIME:

http://time.com/5179594/rachel-morrison-firsts/

 

 

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The Top 5 Underrated Films Within the Last 10 Years and Color Block Yourself-ie: Cheat Your Own Self Portrait Article

Hello!  So here are bits and pieces of something I wrote for an assignment involving pitching ideas for an online magazine.  I had a lot of fun writing these and I thought it was relevant to my blog because of the list of underrated movies.  I hope people agree with and appreciate my recommendations!  The DIY article is a bonus for the blog!!

 

Author: Bianca Piazza

me

Pitch:

For Movie Friday

The Top 5 Underrated Films Within the Last 10 Years: The Sleepers that Deserve More Attention in the World of Cinema

Hard Candy (2005): Ellen Page plays a relentless teenage girl who meets an older man online in this thriller with an interesting twist

We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011): A thrilling dive into the psychological debate about nature versus nurture

Megan is Missing (2011): A realistic found footage horror/drama that will make you aware of whom you talk to online, and reconsider the true definition of a stranger

Wetlands (2013): This German “dramedy”, based on the novel with the same name, delivers a heavy dose of graphic humor as well as intense emotion and fantastical imagery

It Follows (2015): The indie horror of the year brings a new and exciting idea, reminiscent of The Ring (2002), to the horror genre that will shake you to the core

Pitch and Article:

For DIY Thursday and Art and Design

Color Block Yourself-ie: Cheat Your Own Self Portrait

While discussing the style of color blocking and the selfie trend with a friend, we came up with the new DIY idea of an easier way to create an artistic self-portrait, for both the artsy enthusiasts and the not-so Picassos.

The idea is to take a photo of yourself and print it out, the photo being the “blank” canvas for you to go crazy and paint/draw over using any medium of your choice. The photo provides guidelines for you to either follow for a more realistic portrait, or to break for a more Cubic take on the idea. I have painted a self-portrait before, and the medium I used was makeup. Makeup may not have strong pigmentation to paint over a photo, but makeup mixed with a medium of higher pigmentation, such as acrylic paint, will deliver a beautiful array of texture and depth! Although the idea sparked from color blocking, there are no rules; blended watercolors, soft pastel tones, or the elegance of realism can be applied to this fun and glamorous project. Materials such as makeup, nail polish, acrylic/oil/watercolor paint, crayons, pastels, colored pencils, you name it, can be applied to your creation. I decided to do this fun DIY activity myself. Here are my results.

Before:

Bianca selfie

 

Here’s my selfie, also known as my blank canvas!

Work in Progress:

wip selfie

The Final Product:

final selfie

I slightly enhanced the photo of the final artwork with a filter to enhance the bright colors the camera and lighting were not capturing.

For my color-blocked selfie portrait, I used acrylic paint and watercolors, which made up a large majority of the piece, but I also used a tiny bit of pen and eye shadow. Here at Redesign Revolution, we want to see what you create, so go on Instagram and hashtag your work using #colorblockyourselfie and #redesignrevolution!!!