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5 Black Filmmakers to Keep an Eye On

Photo via Instagram.

In honor of Black History Month, here at Shifter Mag, we have put together a list of innovative and inspiring up-and-coming Black filmmakers who are sure to influence the world of cinema. They have created and executed visions of their own, making their talents known and set to leave their mark.

1. Blitz Bazawule

The Ghanaian filmmaker was born and raised in New York City. Bazawule made his feature directorial debut with the Netflix film "The Burial of Kojo" and co-directed Beyonce’s "Black is King," which scored the filmmaker his first Grammy Nomination.

Blitz’s stylistic choices have been coined as “magical realism” grounded in his life experiences, as well as imagination. Bazawule is now attached to the Broadway musical adaptation of "The Color Purple," set to be released in 2023.

2. Janicza Bravo

The name Janicza Bravo may ring a bell, as the director has received credits for episodes of acclaimed TV shows "Dear White People" and "Atlanta." However, the buzz surrounding the American filmmaker and producer took a turn with the premiere of "Zola" at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Bravo struck audiences with the dark, yet humorous approach to the film, as well as embodying the adventurous aspect of the story, as the film was inspired by a viral tweet sensation about a stripper who embarks on a chaotic cross-country adventure. On top of her memorable and impactful stylistic choices, Bravo took the indie film to address cultural appropriation, as well as assault.

3. Shaka King

Shaka King, an American film director made his first wave of mainstream buzz with his director and co-writing credits with the 2021 biopic "Judas and the Black Messiah," earning him two Oscar wins.

King is planning to continue this wave in the world of television. The New York-born and raised director, screenwriter, and film producer announced last year he is set to develop a series for FX.

4. Channing Godfrey Peoples

Channing Godfrey Peoples is an American writer, director, and producer who made her directorial debut of the critically acclaimed 2020 film "Miss Juneteeth."

Peoples’ has expressed her desire to depict and continue depicting everyday black people through her art and shine a light on historical traditions, such as Juneteenth that tie with this feeling of freedom.

5. Stefon Bristol

Bristol, the Brooklyn-born film director, and screenwriter made his feature debut as director of 2019 "See You Yesterday." The film was produced by film icon Spike Lee, who also mentored Bristol through his studies at NYU, giving him the opportunity to take his vision to a new level and take the unique, sci-fi premise of the film to a new level.

Stefon Bristol roots in art in experiences that are 'achingly familiar' to everyday people, while adding bending the reality of the world through stylistic choices. Bristol is set to embark on the sci-fi thriller "BREATHE" and more projects.

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