Sundance Film Festival–where contrary to norm, diversity is the order of the day in the programming room.
In their first public appearance, 85 members from a new collective of film festival programmers came together to form POC2, (Programmers of Colour Collective) last night in Utah.
Including the World to Film a More Diverse World
The purpose? To stimulate conversation around the underrepresentation of people of colour within film programming and international film festival staffing, but also to act as a catalyst for a transformative, diverse change towards a more inclusive international programming pool.
Those in attendance included founding members Paul Struthers (Director of Exhibition & Programming at Frameline), Hussain Currimbhoy (Programmer, Sundance) and Lucy Mukerjee (Senior Programmer, Tribeca), as well as other influential industry figures including Cameron Bailey (Artistic Director and Co-Head of Toronto International Film Festival), Loren Hammonds (Senior Programmer, Tribeca) and Gina Duncan (Associate Vice President – Cinema, Brooklyn Academy of Music).
This collective couldn’t come at a better time, as over the past year, we’ve seen the unfortunate dark nature of Hollywood, with many cases of (unconscious) bias in film festival selections that are gender-imbalanced, or a lack of representation of people of colour or else portraying them or other underrepresented groups in a way that is inauthentic or culturally appropriative.
““As a collective, we’re forward-looking and focused on connecting people with opportunities. Whilst we seek to diversify the current festival programming pool, we also want to create a network of new talent from all of our communities that feeds into those pools and creates its own programming activities. We want to be a portal where other collectives with similar interests can connect with us, offer advice and who we ourselves can advise on festivals, programmers and films. Essentially, we’re a new door into the industry for other POC groups and filmmakers.”
-Founding Members (Struthers, Mukerjee, Currimbhoy, Bhebhe)