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Tag: Girlfriends (1-2 of 2)

Mara Brock Akil talks 'Essence' film contest, 'Being Mary Jane,' 'Best Man Holiday' success: 'Race is not a genre'

Mara Brock Akil has a lot on her plate, but she’s not complaining — in fact, she’s willing to share the secret of her success with industry newcomers.

The producer/director (Girlfriends, The Game, Being Mary Jane) is joining husband/business partner Salim Akil, producer Stephanie Allain, People movie critic Alynda Wheat, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, and actress Regina King to judge Essence‘s Black Women in Hollywood Short Film Contest. The aim of the contest is to find emerging filmmakers to help create multidimensional black female characters, in contrast to the narrow depictions commonly presented in media. The winner will be honored in the company of A-listers during the seventh annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon on Feb. 27.

“I’m excited to see what’s on the minds of young filmmakers, what they are thinking about,” Akil tells Entertainment Weekly. “This generation has grown up with technology, which allows an easier opportunity to express yourself. Before, you needed a crew of many just to get an image captured. So I’m wondering where the creativity will lead in the expression that’s on their minds.”
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This week's cover: Lena Dunham, the beautiful (and dirty) mind behind 'Girls'

Does anyone not have a very strong opinion about Lena Dunham? The Golden Globes adore her edgy HBO comedy Girls. So does Jon Hamm. And Jon Stewart. And broke twentysomethings everywhere. And probably their parents, too. But in this week’s cover story, Dunham acknowledges that her show has also earned some haters, and she’s ready to respond to everyone from James Franco (who famously called Dunham out for “creating another show about white people… [set] in one of the most culturally mixed cities in the world”) to Barbara Walters (who said she found the show’s depiction of sex “shocking” and “depressing”). Other things she’s ready to reveal to senior writer Melissa Maerz? The story of The Great High School Cheese Puff Fiasco that helped shape her taste in comedy. The inspiration behind that amazing conversation about race that she had with Donald Glover on Girls. Oh, and what happened with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and that “middle school” comment. READ FULL STORY

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