Young, badass women of color can’t be stopped! Last month, I posted about the plight of black woman directors. From challenges in raising money to garnering respect in a field they love, many odds are against them. Yet some black women still manage to persevere against these odds and propose projects that aspire to pose social questions that make our world a better place.
One African American woman director currently engaged in such a project is Elizabeth Bayne. Her new project “A Better Place” has a girl of color as the leading protagonist, is in pre-production stages and needs monetary support. Here is a summary of the project:
‘A BETTER PLACE’ is an urban fantasy about an eight year old girl living in a neighborhood where the children are not allowed outside to play. To escape their isolation and boredom, the children begin to fantasize about a different world. They begin to disappear, one-by-one, inside an abandoned building that becomes a portal to their fantasy. Their outraged parents become part of the problem as they violently target local sex offenders and vagrants to find the missing children. They eventually trace them to the abandoned building, but only toys and remnants of their clothing remain.
This story touches on a number of social issues, including street violence and child neglect, but it’s really a statement against the reactionary stance many of us take on these issues. We immediately blame the perpetrators without investigating the underlying root causes of crime and violence… like the lack of education, opportunity and support that drives the most vulnerable of our population out into the streets. In this story, the parents perceive the criminals and outcasts of our society to be the greatest threats to their children’s well-being, but the violence and destruction they use to “clean” their streets creates more disruption and instability, further driving the community’s children to seek a safe haven elsewhere – in a fantasy world – that ironically resides in an abandoned crack house.
In my previous post, I mentioned that the key to addressing the issues that face women of color directors, and women generally, is supporting women directors who present the stories of women in complex ways. Elizabeth’s project gives us an opportunity to do that. If the recession has you down and you have no cash to spare, hit Elizabeth up on Twitter and show her some love.