Having spent a lot of time working in offices dedicated to increasing diversity in film, I was really struck by my trip to Australia. On the flight there, I watched Rabbit Proof Fence, Race, and The Man Who Knew Infinity. These stories are focused on minorities. Rabbit Proof Fence is the story of three Aboriginal girls who escape an Australian "resocialization" camp and trek hundreds of miles to return home. Race is the story of Jessie Owens' famous WWII Olympics. The Man Who Knew Infinity is about an Indian mathematician trying to make it in England. With all of these stories, I watched people of color in naturally dramatic situations. It wasn't forced. There weren't major plot holes. They were authentic, relateable stories.
As we are seeing more and more demand for diversity, I find myself wondering why that content doesn't exist and why studios are so hesitant to make it. My flight flew by because of these mvoies. A good story is a good story. 2016 has struggled to find good stories. As I traveled across Australia, I found even more stories that captivated my heart. There are so many myths, legends, historical figures. It's disheartening that we have to keep remaking movies instead of looking for something new. By turning outside of our own cutlure, we find refreshing stories. Why have we not made a Harriett Tubman movie? Why can't we make movies about Aboriginals? How about a historical figure from Brazil? I am the first person to love a British period piece, but why not make a piece about Chinese history?
As someone in the film industry, I become more and more thankful for my opportunities to travel. Not only does it give me more experience in life, it inspires me. Three weeks isn't a lot of time, but in that three weeks, I gained a whole new appreciation for a new culture and new stories. Australia makes a point to recognize the aboriginal people. Every public event starts with thanking them for the use of the land. The museums openly talk about the genocide against them and the importance of preserving their culture. Why can't we do that? The great thing about travel is seeing that diversity and knowing you can work to bring that into your career. I have fresh ideas and a passion to pass on these stories.