Queen Sugar makes TV history
Queen Sugar is among the few prime-time dramas to feature an all-female directorial team.
Show creator and Executive Director Ava DuVernay had a vision.
When it came to hiring the crew for Queen Sugar, her requirements were simple. “I wanted people with my sensibility, people who care about the things that I care about.”
It just so happened, that all of those people were women.
DuVernay was determined to give more women – especially gay women and women of colour – the chance to share in her experiences, and enhance their skills in the ever-changing television landscape.
She deliberately sought out filmmakers who had inspired her over the years. These directors are said to be among the best independent filmmakers; yet they were struggling to be recognised in an industry dominated by big-budget productions.
28 episodes in a row, directed solely by women, is no small feat. DuVernay’s decisions were labelled “radical” by some media. However, she says it paid off.
The set of Queen Sugar has become a talent lab of sorts, and a television trailblazer, with other major U.S. networks following suit.
Queen Sugar has already been renewed for a third season, and DuVernay plans to continue in the same fashion. “This is not a trend. This is not a publicity stunt. This is our choice.”