Twenty Black women who have successful acting, writing and production careers in film and television are teaming up for a new initiative called The Reel Divas. Their purpose is to promote Black writers, producers and directors and to showcase Atlanta as a production hub, Deadline reported on October 16.
Instead of turning away from Georgia after the state passed the controversial Heartbeat Bill earlier this May, the group told Deadline that it wants to “advocate for the rights of women in TV and film, especially in situations like these.” There’s a financial incentive against heading to Hollywood: As The Atlanta Voice reported, Georgia offers a tax credit up to 30 percent of a production’s expenses.
“With our brother-in-film, Tyler Perry, getting so much notoriety and acclaim for opening his 330-acre lot here in Atlanta, we feel that the time is now,” The Reel Divas co-creator Cas Sigers-Beedles, told Deadline. “Atlanta has already served as the home base and mecca for a lot of TV and film projects, so we are doing our part to continue pushing this narrative to the masses.”
To see The Reel Divas complete members list, including Jasmine Guy (“A Different World”) and Terri J. Vaughn (“Meet the Browns”), visit Deadline. And watch a video, below, on the inspiration for the shoot and behind-the scenes shots by photographer Donna Permell, courtesy of Ray Cornelius TV: