While the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is best known as the home of the Oscars, the organization is expanding its reach to offer more to movie lovers.
Most recently, The Academy launched a series of virtual panel discussions, which are available to both its members and the public. The ongoing series—entitled Academy Dialogues: It Starts with Us—will examine race, ethnicity and gender, as well as history and opportunity with respect to the art of filmmaking.
The first installment, “The Power of Narrative,” was a live conversation between Whoopi Goldberg, an Oscar winner, four-time Oscar host and Academy governor, and Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights attorney and founder/executive director of Equal Justice (he just so happened to be portrayed by Michael B. Jordan in the film, Just Mercy).
Their discussion, which took place in late July, addressed racial and ethnic inequity in film, as well as the impact of negative stereotyping.
Forthcoming discussions will tackle issues ranging from color-conscious casting, taking ownership of one’s story and the power of representation, to name a few. Featured guests will include Oscar nominee, Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), writer-director Gina Prince–Bythewood (The Old Guard), actor Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (Precious), writer Misan Sagay (Belle), Oscar-winning writer, Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight), as well as filmmakers Lisa Cortés (All In: the Fight for Democracy), Dawn Porter (John Lewis: Good Trouble), DeVon Franklin (Breakthrough) and Debra Martin Chase (Harriet), among them.
All of the conversations can be viewed on YouTube.
Additional information about “Academy Dialogues” is available at www.oscars.org.