Some of Black Hollywood’s most powerful titans are joining forces to empower the next generation of filmmakers.
It was recently announced in a news release that Statement Films, a women-led, data-driven entertainment startup, secured an initial three quarters of a million dollars of funding from lead investors that include Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson.
Founded by Areej Noor, the company sources, produces, develops and “presents a pipeline of African-women-led IP to international buyers to bolster their visibility in the global market.
“I grew up exposed to incredibly creative and powerful stories of African women, but I felt they were still underserved by Western media and the entertainment elite — that is why I founded Statement Films,” Noor said in a news release. “Having the support of Hollywood, sports, and business titans gives us the momentum to establish new and equitable pathways for the explosive female talent coming from the continent.”
Magic Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson and LaTanya Richardson Jackson join business leaders Robyn & Tony Coles and Vicki & John Palmer in investing in the company.
“I am incredibly excited to be a part of the journey with Statement Films,” said Samuel L. Jackson. “The company is doing such important work to fill a long-overdue gap in the industry. We can look forward with optimism to the future of African women in film.”
Jackson’s wife and fellow Tony-nominated actor, producer, and director LaTanya Richardson Jackson, said “As a female creative, this is something I am particularly passionate about and I look forward to seeing the opportunities and progress that will unfold for African women through the incredible work of Areej and her team at Statement Films.”
According to the news release, the funding will help Statement Films scale the current offering into a media and insights business that increases the visibility of the African Creative Class while its production arm remains focused on building a pipeline for female filmmakers on the continent and in the diaspora.