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In her New York Times piece on films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Manohla Dargis introduced a new test for meaningful diversity in film. Similar to the Bechdel Test, which measures whether or not women’ on screen presence extends beyond centering around the activities or presence of male characters, the “DuVernay test,” as Dargis states, measures whether or not African-Americans and other minorities have fully realized lives as opposed to just serving to the support the scenery in white stories. Ava DuVernay took to Twitter to express her support for the test.

It will be interesting to see how many films pass the DuVernay test this year.

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  • The measure of diversity in film doesn’t just deal with who is in movies. It deals with producers, camera people, directors, and other individuals who work behind the scenes in making any film. Movies cost money, they deal with profound sacrifice, and other important commitments. For long decades, we have witness the corrupt nature of many leaders of Hollywood. We can never beg anyone for our freedom since our victory must come via self-determination and constant struggle against injustice. The DuVernay test is certainly interesting to discuss and research. Also, our stories as black people should be diverse. Greatness and excellence doesn’t just deal with one genre of film. Excellence encompasses the diverse types of movies. We want qualified, talented black actors and black actresses to express themselves as full human beings. Also, we desire the building of more black owned production companies, and other black institutions, so our voices can be told more efficiently. Our validation never comes by an idol given to people on one day. Our validation comes when we love our own identity and when we love the truth plus help our neighbors. It is better to be rewarded by our black communities for doing good than be awarded by an Oscar for degrading the black image. That point must be relayed and established throughout the inhabitants of the world.

  • vintage3000

    “…DuVernay test,” as Dargis states, measures whether or not African-Americans and other minorities…”

    Once again, the persistent advocacy of Black Americans against exclusion and racism sets a high standard in this country, which ends up benefitting all other POC also.