Sydney Scott
Feb, 28, 2018

Dee Rees is one of Hollywood's best director's. Now, the woman who gave us Mudbound is teaming up with Walmart to spotlight female filmmakers.

The new project highlights the art of storytelling and the women who produce some of the best work in the business. Director and producer Nancy Meyers and actress Melissa McCarthy are also part of the initiative. 

Rees stopped by ESSENCE to discuss teaming up with the retailer and her new sci-fi short, The Box.

Detailing why she decided to participate in the project, Rees says,"I knew that the program would benefit other women filmmakers getting the chance to do their own short film. I was excited because it was a chance to do an original short film and dip my toes into sci-fi even more and have fun with it."

The director called on some of her favorite women in Hollywood, including Mary J. Blige, Hannah Beachler, Rachel Morrison, and Colleen Atwood, to work on the short and calls the project a "shameless opportunity to put all that excellence together."

Rees' Netflix hit, Mudbound, racked up three Oscar nominations, including Best Support Actress for Mary J. Blige, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.  The Box will be one of three short films that air during the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4. 

Walmart is also teaming up with Women In Film to provide funding and support to four up-and-coming female filmmakers.

"I feel like women are some of the craftspeople who are at the top of their game," Rees told ESSENCE. "For me, it's not about tokenism it's about choosing women who are amazing at what they do."