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Gina Prince-Bythewood Talks Influence of ‘The Woman King’ in Kamala Harris’ Celebrated Reginald Hudlin Role – The Hollywood Reporter


Filmmakers Gina Prince-Bythewood And Reginald Hudlin The celebration took place Wednesday night at the eighth pre-Oscars dinner for Icon Mann, a media and consulting firm that runs it Tamara Houston Dedicated to honoring the achievements of artists of color and providing a meeting place for strong black men in particular.

During an elegant party at the Waldorf-Astoria in Beverly Hills hosted by the CBS news anchor Errol BarnettMany of the most distinguished members of Hollywood’s black community have come together to reward the veteran filmmakers behind two of the most critically acclaimed films of 2022 – Sony’s historical drama Prince-Bythewood. The King’s Woman and Hudlin’s Apple TV+ documentary feature Sydney —both blatantly ignored to the discretion of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the first person to toast Prince-Bythewood—a Maverick Award recipient for “breaking boundaries in the cinematography and televised depiction of African diaspora cartoons”—was the Academy’s Executive Vice President for Member Relations and Awards, Sean Feeney. Feeney notes that no award can adequately acknowledge the cultural impact of her films, which also include 2000’s Love and basketball2008 The secret life of bees2014 Beyond the lights and 2020 old guard.

Then Prince-Bythewood’s husband, the filmmaker Reggae Rock Bythewoodspeaking of his wife’s perseverance: “She has an idea, she sticks to it, it doesn’t really matter what or who gets in her way, and she gets to the front of the line.”

He also recounted a dinner last week with their 22-year-old son in New York, during which they overheard “a white couple in their 60s” talking about movies, “and it was very clear the guy was a voting member of the Academy.” When they started discussing the BAFTAs, Bythewood said, “I was like, ‘Hey, I heard you guys talking.’ I’ve just been to the BAFTAs. And they were like, ‘Really? Were you there with a movie?’ I said, ‘Nah, it’s actually my wife’s movie, The King’s WomanIt was like, empty. And I said, you know, starring Viola Davis? They were like, “Oh, really? Where can we see it? I’m like, well, ‘It’s on Netflix right now. ‘ And check it out, like, they weren’t overtly racist; they were very classy, ​​right? But there’s like This separation.”

He continued, “Some of you may have seen or heard of this article published by Jenna Hollywood Reporter? Thank you to all of you who published and championed this book. There were some haters out there, and some wondered “Why would someone like Gina, who had such an illustrious career, talk?” But here’s the deal: In the history of the Academy Awards, there has never been a black person who has won a Best Director category… In the history of the Academy, no black woman has been nominated in this category… So check this out: If you’re not content with being in The back of the line, you call them out.”

In her acceptance speech, Prince-Bythewood spoke of the mission that runs through her body of work: “From the beginning, I’ve struggled to tell the stories of Black women and girls and to reframe the narrative of who we are and what we can be. I want us to look on screen and see ourselves reflected in a way that inspires us to aspire to be.” We are. And I’m proud of the black men I focus on in my work – they’re layered, loving, strong, vulnerable, heroic and real. I’m able to write it well because I have such an amazing example of a strong black man in the house. Strong black men celebrate strong black women And they lift them up. Reggie has always been my biggest hero. There’s no limit to how far he thinks I can go. We both aspire to greatness, and he’s rooted in love for our people and a shared belief that we can change the world through our work.”

She concluded, “Success Black Panther open the door to The King’s WomanAnd now success The King’s Woman You will keep this door open for more fascinating stories about our history and culture.”

to present the Icon Award for “lifetime achievement in the creative industries” to Hudlin, who was seated next to Disney Entertainment co-chairman and longtime friend Dana WaldenPolitical activist and commentator Van Jones He talked about how much the ’90s black panther comic books meant to Hudlin to Jones as a bullied kid, and to many others. Jones then surprised Hudlin with a video message from the Vice President Kamala Harrisan old friend of Hudlin’s and his wife’s, Chrisette Hudlinwho had a blind date in 2013 with her future husband, Doug Emhoff. Harris called Hudlin “an exceptional artist and one of my closest friends, my brother Reggie…a member of my extended family,” and asserted that “Reggie Hudlin has brought joy and inspiration to millions of people.”

Kamala Harris appears virtually at the 2023 Icon Mann Honors

Kamala Harris appears virtually at the 2023 Icon Mann Honors Gala

Kamala Harris appears virtually at the 2023 Icon Mann Honors

Hudlin, upon accepting his award, said of his career, “I’ve been really focused on creating blueprints for living for black men and black families, because as black men we have to be the men that black women deserve. And I think in general we need to dream bigger. You know, America is falling apart around us, and that’s because there’s a bunch of people out there who can’t handle the truth about this country and can’t handle participating in a meritocratic system. So we – the people who built this country – must live up to the opportunity our forefathers afforded us. We have to stop. About fighting force and He is Power. Not many people want to hear a story about the old days — “Oh, that’s torture porn, I don’t want to go back there” — but if you don’t control the past, you can’t control the present, which means you don’t control the future. So this isn’t about telling “torture porn,” it’s about telling stories about resilience, intelligence, winning, and putting a foot in the ass, because who doesn’t want to see that? ”

He was also honored in a meeting on Wednesday night: Dr. Ozudenma IwealaCEO of the Africa Center in New York, “to transform the world’s understanding and engagement of contemporary Africa through the arts and culture.”

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.