Record number of black directors among 2018’s top films

on Jan5
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SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 03:  Directors Ava DuVernay (L) and Spike Lee pose during the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

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SANTA MONICA, CA – MARCH 03: Directors Ava DuVernay (L) and Spike Lee pose during the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 3, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

Hollywood’s record-breaking year at the box office wasn’t the only noteworthy thing about 2018. Of the 100 top fictional movies at the box office last year, 16 of them were directed by black filmmakers, nearly three times as many as 2017 and double the number a decade ago.

About 14 percent of the directors of the top 100 films were black, including Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”), Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), Antoine Fuqua (“Equalizer 2”) and Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle in Time”), according to a report released by USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

The organization’s list tracks the top 100 fictional films, meaning that any documentaries that crack the top 100 grossing films are not included in their calculations. For instance, this year “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” the documentary about Fred Rogers was number 97 on the top 100 list, but was omitted. This allowed “Superfly,” directed by Julien Lutz, known professionally as Director X, to make the cut.



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