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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