In light of the blatant disrespect for the lives of people of color worldwide, Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes, an independent global filmmaker movement promoting diversity of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and physical ability at the Cannes Film Festival, stands in solidarity with the families of the 200 missing Nigerian girls, the victims of the recent Baga massacre, the black males killed at the hands of the law in the United States and the countless others losing lives due to political unrest in other African nations. Black lives and black stories matter and we will proclaim it loud and proud to the international film community at the world’s most prestigious film festival.
“The media, motion pictures in particular, plays an integral role in perpetuating negative stereotypes of the black experience worldwide. While progress has been made to reverse these mostly fiction based perceptions, there’s work to be done,” states Yolonda Brinkley, US based entertainment publicist and creator of Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes. “Positive portrayal of black life in film will lead to positive shifts in perception globally and the Black Lives Black Stories Matter Edition of the Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival is my contribution to the global effort to extinguish negative black images in media one short film at a time.”
The Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase, Black Lives Black Stories Matter edition, will spotlight positive images of blacks in film during a special short film screening celebrating the work of six black filmmakers from the diaspora. To culminate, we will honor them and other trailblazing blacks in global entertainment at an awards reception where world renowned visual artist Synthia SAINT JAMES, designer of the USPS' first Kwanzaa stamp, will unveil a signature piece celebrating diversity. In support of our mission, she will grant us reproduction rights of the commissioned art, which will be merchandised to raise funds to promote globally diverse filmmakers at the Cannes Film Festival and beyond.
“I am so jazzed, excited and honored with the artistic delight of creating a signature painting for Yolonda Brinkley's Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes,” comments Synthia SAINT JAMES, world renown visual artist. “My hope is that my painting will help to heighten the visibility and brand of Ms. Brinkley's incredible brainchild, while also celebrating and encouraging diversity in the independent global filmmaker movement.”
Filmmakers are encouraged to submit films and webseries to the 2015 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase as all black themed/crewed films promoting positive black images are automatically considered for both the general and the Black Lives Black Stories Matter showcases. Regular submission rate extended through March 31, 2015. Apply code BLACKLIVESMATTER at
For more information or to donate visit www.diversityincannes.com