‘PROGRAMMERS OF COLOUR COLLECTIVE’ LAUNCHES AT SUNDANCE 2019

January 26, 2019

Members from a new collective of film festival programmers comprising people of colour, women and TSLGBTQ+ made their first public appearance together last night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
POC2pic low res

‘PROGRAMMERS OF COLOUR COLLECTIVE’ LAUNCHES AT SUNDANCE 2019

Members from a new collective of film festival programmers comprising people of colour, women and TSLGBTQ+ made their first public appearance together last night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.

Having already confirmed 85 members, POC2 (Programmers of Colour Collective) aims 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 transformative change towards a more inclusive international programming pool.

Set against the snow-filled backdrop of the Park City festival hot-spot ‘Timbers Bar’, many of the recently formed collective’s members assembled for a group photograph: a symbolic first step in a push towards a greater representation of diversity at film festivals’ curating and greenlighting tables.

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). The photo was accompanied by the publication of a full list of the collective’s current members. Spanning five continents and counting among its ranks festival and industry programmers from a diverse range of film festivals, the nascent collective’s list shines a light on a growing generation of such programmers who are calling for a greater recognition of the inclusion of their perspectives.

Spurred by the many cases of (unconscious) bias in film festival selections that are gender-imbalanced, lack representation of people of colour or else portray them or other underrepresented groups in a way that is inauthentic or culturally appropriative, the collective’s objective is for programming pools, and therefore the films selected for festivals, to become truly diverse.

The collective chose to launch at Sundance where, contrary to the norm, diversity is the order of the day in the programming room. POC2 will strive for such inclusivity to become ubiquitous with curating films.

Next steps  

The primary aim of POC2 is not only to stimulate a conversation around the lack of programmers who are people of colour at international film festivals, but also to be a catalyst for transformative change towards a more inclusive international programming pool.

Ultimately, the primary objective is to make festival line-ups themselves more robust, reflective of international audiences and richer through inclusion.

The Founding Members (listed below) issued the following statement:

“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:

Paul Struthers FRAMELINE Director of Exhibition & Programming

Lucy Mukerjee TRIBECA Senior Programmer

Hussain Currimbhoy SUNDANCE Programmer

Themba Bhebhe EFM Diversity & Inclusion

Initiatives

POC2 advocates for studies, research and statistics on the composition of the international film festival programming pool to provide data on equality gaps within the industry.

Through mentoring schemes, generating greater awareness on the profession of film and industry programmers as well as outreach to universities and schools, POC2 will create pathways for POCs, those belonging to underprivileged socio-economic backgrounds and underrepresented groups more generally.

POC2 will also create an internal database and online repertory of POC programmers.

To maintain momentum and remain interconnected, POC2 will also organize regular gatherings and themed events at major international film festivals.

Upcoming events

A panel organized by POC2 due to take place during the Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival, – Feb. 7th – 17th) is currently in the making.

#wearepoc2                            #programminginclusion

Founding Members

Hussain Currimbhoy SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL Programmer

Lucy Mukerjee TRIBECA Senior Programmer

Paul Struthers FRAMELINE Director of Exhibition & Programming

Themba Bhebhe EUROPEAN FILM MARKET Diversity & Inclusion

Members

Abby Sun TRUE FALSE FILM FESTIVAL Programmer

Aisha Jamal HOT DOCS DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL Programmer

Allie Esslinger NEWFEST Programmer

Amalia Córdova SMITHSONIAN CENTER FOR FOLKLIFE & CULTURAL HERITAGE Latinx digital curator and Chair of Research and Education

Amber Love NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL Programmer

Amir George TRUE FALSE FILM FESTIVAL Programmer

Angie Reza Tures FEMME FRONTERAA FILMAMAKER SHOWCASE Festival Director

Arshad Khan SOUTH ASIAN FILM FESTILA OF CANADA Director

Ashley Clark BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC Specialty film programmer

Benjamin Lopez NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LATINO INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS Executive Director

Benjamin Thompson TRIBECA Programmer

Benson Wu TAIWAN FILM FESTIVAL Festival Director

Brian Hu PACIFIC ARTS MOVEMENT Artistic Director

Cameron Bailey Toronto international film festival Artistic Director and Co-Head of TIFF

Cela Sutton Forward Movement Creative Executive

Charlie Hidalgo SLAMDANCE FILM FESTIVAL / NEWFEST Programmer

Chris Hastings WORLD CHANNEL Executive Producer

Christine Dávila SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL Programming Associate

Chung Tsang KOREAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL NEW YORK Festival Director

Claire Diao  Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Selection Committee / Co-Founder of Pan-African Film Critic Magazine Awotele / Programmer Quartier Lointains short film touring programme

Claudia Puig Mendocino Film Festival Program Director

Colleen Thurston Independent Film Programmer

Cornelius Moore Library of African Cinema Director of the organization’s African American Perspectives

CR Capers HIP HOP FILM FESTIVAL Executive Director

Curtis Caesar John BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC Programmer-at-Large

Dave KIM Seoul PRIDE Film Festival Programmer

Dessane Lopez Cassell Independent Curators International Programs Research Coordinator

Diarah N’Daw-Spech African Diaspora International Film Festival Co-founder and Co-Director

Ekrem Serdar Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center Curator

Farah Clementine Dramani-Issifou Independent film Curator & Programmer / Cannes Critics Week Selection Committee

Faridah Gbadamosi FRAMELINE Programmer

Gina Duncan – Brooklyn Academy of Music – Associate Vice President; Cinema

Hebe Tabachnik SEATTLE and PALM SPRINGS FILM FESTIVALS Senior World Cinema Programmer

Inge de Leeuw – IFFR/Rotterdam – Film Programmer for the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Iyabo Boyd – Independent Programmer

James Faust Dallas Film Society Artistic Director

Jason Ryle IMAGINENATIVE Artistic & Managing Director

Jeff Lee Boston Asian American Film Festival Programming Committee/Government & Community Outreach Liaison

Jemma Desai BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL Programmer

Joao Federici MixBrasil Festival Artistic and Programming Director

Juan Caceres – Independent Multi-Media Producer & Festival Programmer

Karen McMullen TIDE FILM FESTIVAL Programmer

Keith Shiri Independent film Curator & Programmer

Lana Garland Hayti Heritage Film Festival Curator & Festival Director

Libby Hakaraia MAORILAND FILM FESTIVAL Director

Lindy Leong Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival– Senior Film Festival Programmer & Programming Manager

Loren Hammonds TRIBECA Senior Programmer

Madeleine de Young Māoriland Film Festival Festival Coordinator

Maori Karmael Holmes BlackStar Film Festival Founder

Marangeli Mejia-Rabell Philadelphia Latino Film Festival Festival Director

Maria-Christina Villaseñor New York International Children’s Film Festival Programming Director

Masashi Niwano CENTER FOR ASIAN AND AMERICAN MEDIA Festival & Exhibition Director

Melissa Lyde Alfreda’s Cinema Founder/Programmer

Melissa Randle Urban Indie Film Block Consulting Producer/ Curator

Mercedes Cooper ARRAY Director of Programming

Moisés Esparza SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL Exhibitions Manager

Nadia Denton BEYOND NOLLYWOOD Programmer

Nashen Moodley Sydney Film Festival Director

Natalie Erazo BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC Specialty film programmer

Nehad Khader BLACKSTAR FILM FESTIVAL Senior Programmer

Omme-Salma Rahemtullah Nickelodeon Theatre/ Indie Grits Festival Programmer

Opal Bennett – Aspen ShortsFest, Athena, DOC NYC/Nantucket Film Festivals/The March on Washington Film Festival/Cinema Eye Honors – Programmer

Qila Gill London Film Festival (Experimenta Strand) /London Short Film Festival / Meshes Programmer/Curator

Ravi Srinivasan SOUTH WESTERN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Executive Director

Raymond Phang ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival Programmer

Rob Buscher PHILADELPHIA ASIAN AMERICAAN FILM FESTIVAL Festival Director

Roya Rastegar LA FILM FESTIVAL Director of Programming

Sabrina Avilés BOSTON LATINO FILM FESTIVAL Executive Director

Sarah-Tai Black – Programming Coordinator, Images Festival, Toronto / Director/Programmer of Black Gold, The Royal Cinema (Toronto) / TIFF

Sue-Ellen Chitunya Independent film Curator & Programmer

Sunil Sadarangani Ojai Short Film Festival Director of Programming and Operations Manager

Susan Chinsen Boston Asian American Film Festival Festival Director

Tamiko Wong Independent Programmer

Taylour Chang Doris Duke Theatre – Honolulu Museum of Art Director

Tendai John Mutambu Independent Curator

Tessa Boerman – IFFR/Rotterdam – Programmer

Tilane Jones ARRAY Vice-President

Tony Gittens Washington, DC International Film Festival Founder & Director

Torell Shavone Smithsonian African American Film Festival Programmer

Vanessa Erazo Independent film Curator & Programmer

Wendy Guerrero Bentonville Film Festival President of Programming

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