When Ava DuVernay rose to A-list fame as the director behind Selma, it sent a message to all of Hollywood that as an independent filmmaker she wasn’t interested in waiting to get permission to bring Black voices into cinema.
Needless to say, the film turned out to be an incredible success and DuVernay was catapulted to the top of Hollywood directorial totem pole.
Well, DuVernay has no intention of attempting to diversify the voices in Hollywood on her own so she teamed up with more than 40 other filmmakers to take over Twitter for the second string of her “Rebel-A-Thon.”
DuVernay used the #ARRAY hashtag to facilitate much-needed conversation among established and aspiring Black filmmakers on social media but this year garnered more attention than ever and continues trending for the entire day on Wednesday.
Some of Hollywood’s most elite, like Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Salim Akil and Debbie Allen, joined forces with some talented but lesser-known filmmakers in order to create a well-rounded community of those who knew about the plights and struggles facing Black talent in Hollywood.
For 12 hours, the questions continued to fly in and the conversations were truly epic.
“If you’re rejected by the masses but you reach your niche, you’ve been successful,” Perry told one young aspiring filmmaker. “Look at me. #ARRAY.”
Meanwhile, Winfrey praised the “beauty of multiple and diverse storytelling” and reminded her followers that “no one story fits all.”
In addition to providing aspiring filmmakers with access to some of today’s more prominent filmmakers, the digital conversation also worked as a part of a campaign for DuVernay’s African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (AFFRM).
The Twitter takeover helped to promote the AFFRM 2014 Rebel membership drive, and with many of the tweets garnering well over 100 retweets it’s safe to say that the campaign was effective.
At the end of the social media dialogue, DuVernay captured the spirit of the entire movement with a simple tweet about how Black people and all people of color could make their voices heard in Hollywood.
“12 hrs. 43 directors. It’s all been said,” she tweeted. “I’ll end w/ this: We’re stronger together than we are alone. Thanx. Onward!”