It’s not all that surprising that Netflix kicked off 2020 with a brand-new lineup of original films. At this point, streaming platforms are pumping more movies and shows into the universe than our puny human brains can handle. What is refreshing, however, is just how many of them are directed by women and people of color.
This year, you can look forward to new work from the likes of Gina Prince-Blythewood, Lana Wilson, Dee Rees, and Liz Garbus, as well as the latest from Spike Lee, David Fincher, Ryan Murphy, Tyler Perry, and Ron Howard. Newcomers making their respective feature directorial debuts, like Insecure’s Prentice Penny and Numa Perrier, are also represented.
The 2020 awards season has thus far been disappointing in its lack of gender parity and diversity. (Really BAFTAS? All white acting nominees?) Partly, that’s because studios often fail to properly market women-directed films, or have trouble putting them in front of the right audience. In that context, streaming services wield unprecedented power to upset the status quo, providing opportunities to those that the traditional system often overlooks. And as far as diversity behind the camera is concerned, Netflix has a proven track record. A new study by Dr. Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative showed that 20% of feature fictional films put out by the streaming giant were directed by women. Here’s to topping that in 2020.
Take a look at the films you can expect in your queue over the next 12 months. We’ll be updating this list as more information becomes available.