By Jen Yamato
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In an industry in which women account for 52 percent of moviegoers but only 4 percent of directors of the top 100 films at the box office, the “Shatterbox Anthology” which features female directors is a breathe of fresh air.
Los Angeles Times
Yara Shahidi had just wrapped the first season of “grown-ish,” her ABC “black-ish” spinoff, when she dived into her next role: directing her first film.
“I enjoy acting thoroughly, but I also like the process in which we tell stories,” Shahidi, 17, told The Times of her directorial debut for Refinery29’s Shatterbox Anthology, a series of female-helmed shorts created in 2016 with the mission of giving female directors a platform to tell their stories.
In its founding class, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Sevigny made directing debuts with shorts that premiered at the prestigious Sundance and Cannes film festivals, respectively, while costume designer-turned-director Courtney Hoffman turned her feminist western short “The Good Time Girls” into a calling card that landed her a feature directing gig for Amblin.
Now in its second season, the Shatterbox Anthology will feature eight films. This year’s directors are Shahidi, “Community’s” Gillian Jacobs, Academy Award-nominated Jessica Sanders, Gilly Barnes, Ivy Agregan, Janine Shermon Barrois, A.M. Lukas (nee Anna Martemucci) and Allana Harkin. Partnering with TNT Networks, the new season of shorts will screen across all TNT social, digital and television channels as part of a multiplatform release.
Shahidi says the opportunity to direct came with an offer she couldn’t refuse: full creative control. She developed the concept for her film and wrote the script with “grown-ish” writer Jordan Reddout, drawing inspiration from the 1956 French film “The Red Balloon,” the podcast “99 percent Invisible” and her own experience strolling along Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue one day with friends.