After seeing Moonlight, a film about what it means to be queer and Black, and seeing how well-directed the film was, it occurred to me that directors of color, female directors, and LGBTQ+ directors are killing it in the indie market right now—and not getting enough attention for it. Here’s ten diverse directors who are amazing and did a fantastic job with the movies they done, and are somehow not getting more work in Hollywood.
- Barry Jenkins.
Barry Jenkins is the director of Moonlight, and I think he did a fantastic job with it. The visuals were so strong, and every shot held some kind of message in it. He’s very good at depicting characters in human lights, and I think the next time there’s a superhero film about a Black character, I want him on it. (Cyborg, maybe?)
- Ava DuVernay
Ava got her big break in the blockbuster game with A Wrinkle in Time, which I could not be more excited for, partially because I love her directing and partially because she’s diversified the cast. But seriously, people. This woman was up to direct Black Panther and I’m still kind of bitter she didn’t get it (even though Ryan Coogler is a fabulous choice for that movie). She needs to direct a Star Wars film as soon as possible! (Maybe the Boba Fett movie they’re planning.)
- Gina Prince-Bythewood
I don’t know if you’ve seen Beyond the Lights, but that film is amazing. Gina Prince-Bythewood is the director. She’s the one who brought the amazing Gugu Mbatha-Raw to us, and just for that I think she’s deserving of a big blockbuster. But even if that weren’t the case, her directing choices on Beyond the Lights were raw, real and very honest. I think she’d do a good job with a DC movie.
- Dee Rees
Rees is a fantastic director. She helmed 2013’s Pariah, which was the story of a young Black lesbian grappling with her sexuality. I have no idea why that movie didn’t get more praise. Not only was it a great film, but she did an amazing job with it. Rees has also directed episodes of Lee Daniels’ Empire, but she shouldn’t be stuck to TV. She should be working more. I can see her doing something for Marvel (but seeing as they’re apparently only hiring white women right now, maybe she’ll have to wait).
- Shaka King
Shaka King directed a little movie called Newlyweds, a stoner comedy that had me crying laughing. He would be a great choice to direct a big comedy, as he’s shown that he does an excellent job with comedic moments in movies.
- Mira Nair
Mira Nair is the queen of directing. Seriously. She directed the recent Queen of Katwe, which is (ridiculously) not getting more attention at the box office. It’s a brilliant movie, not only the performances, but the direction. The tension in the movie made me think Nair would do a great job with an action sequence. She also handled female characters very well. Put her on a comic-book movie!
- Joseph Kahn
You might know him as the director of most of Taylor Swift’s videos, which might be cause for concern. But if you’ve seen the Power Rangers fan film he directed, you’d know that this man can DIRECT. It was amazing, and I’m low-key disappointed that the upcoming movie won’t just be an extended version of that short film. He’d make a great director for a big property.
- Jennifer Yuh Nelson
She directed Kung Fu Panda 2, and she’s taking on the upcoming adaptation of the YA series The Darkest Minds, so technically she’s already broken into the blockbuster space, but still. Yuh Nelson needs to be more of a household name. She’s a great director.
- JA Bayona
He directed The Orphanage, the only movie to actually make me scared to go to sleep. I love his directing skills and everything he does with the camera. He’s going to work on Jurassic World 2, which is great, but I’d love to see him do a comic-book movie.
- Amma Asante
Amma Asante was the director of Belle and she did am amazing job with that, I would love to see her on more projects.
These are just some of the many diverse directors doing amazing things in the industry right now. Hollywood, here’s a list if you’re looking for a minority to spearhead your project. If you know of any more, feel free to sound off!