Ava DuVernay

Guest Contributor

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The Perfect Find

Enjoy these first look photos of Numa Perrier's The Perfect Find starring Gabrielle Union and Keith Powers. 

After a high-profile firing, Jenna's fashion career comeback hits a snag when she falls for a charming, much younger coworker - who happens to be her boss's son. As sparks fly, Jenna must decide if she'll risk it all on a secret romance.

Numa Perrier is a favorite of ours-- her debut indie feature Jezebel was an extraordinary introduction to her aesthetically engaging and powerful onscreen storytelling style. Pairing her with a veteran talent like Gabrielle Union literally seems like a perfect fit in this modern romantic comedy that is sure to have a subtle core under Perrier's artful guidance. The photos look visually pleasing, with a vibrant color palette that is fitting of the fashion world setting. Perrier is on track to become a household name in cinema, a beloved director like Gina Prince-Bythewood in the Black film community, with talent that reaches to various audiences and genres. 

The Perfect Find premieres June 23rd on Netflix.


Reel Artsy Lansing - Socialight Poetry Night

Join Socialight Society for a night of thought-provoking spoken word and poetry. They're hosting a Good Friday Poetry Night featuring Kamyrn Whitfield, Keyante Saxton, Nyshell Lawrence, Jonathan Lawrence and Najeema Iman. This Black-owned indie book shop is one of our favorites-- it's a great place to gather, network, and to soak up loads of knowledge from a beautifully curated collection of Black authors. 

Keyante Saxton

April is National Poetry Month so come and be surrounded stacks of classic poems (available for purchase) and be encouraged by the artistry of emerging talents like Keyante Saxton, aka "KT The Conscious Poet."

The event is free and runs from 6pm - 8pm inside the Lansing Mall. 

For more info visit Socialight Society's website, Instagram and Facebook



Reel Artsy Detroit - HoneyGirl Skincare

Home-made and all natural. This independent Black-owned beauty brand offers soothing, and fragrant, body butters that moisturize the skin. HoneyGirl Skincare was birthed out of necessity, Amber Mitchell, crafted this skin care line as a method of healing for her family who "struggled with sensitive skin for years." 

The holistic beauty line offers a range of hand crafted items: shower steamers, sugar scrubs, honey bar soaps and luxurious body butters. 

The Warm Vanilla Body Butter is a favorite of mine-- it hydrates, and feels like a delicious treat for the skin: smooth, creamy, an essential for any woman's skin care routine. 

You can buy products directly from the business inside the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, Michigan or order from them online. 

For more info visit their website or Instagram


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Outfest Fusion Film Festival 2023

The Outfest Fusion Film Festival is one of the premiere spots that showcases, affirms and supports QTBIPOC storytellers. The festival runs from March 24th to April 2nd in Los Angeles (with virtual screenings available). Pay special attention to the short films programming-- there you can find some true gems and catch emerging filmmakers shine in that format. 

Here are some intriguing films that stand out...

Hold Onto Me directed by Ravjvi Desai and Te Shima Brenen.

A documentary celebrating grassroots activist Mother LaTravious, a Black Trans femme matriarch whose journey from caterpillar to a butterfly began in her 30s.

Where Do We Go from Here directed by LaQuan Lewis. 

On the eve of Jamila and Rae’s one-year anniversary, Rae receives a voicemail from her ex-lover.

This Place directed by V.T. Nayani. 

Kawenniióhstha pursues her dreams of being a poet by moving to Toronto: the city where her estranged Iranian father happens to live. Malai also estranged from her father, but now that he's battling terminal cancer, she begins tries to repair her relationship with him, the one remaining link she has to her Tamil roots. When the two young women lock eyes in a laundromat, inexplicable sparks fly. As they grow closer, the weight of family and culture — which bear legacies of loss, migration, and displacement — complicate the growing intimacy they share.

I Identify As Me direted by Tina Colleen and Monick Monell. 

A chorus of queer and trans BIPOC reflects on how the intersectionalities of gender and people are infinite. 

For more info on the Outfest Fusion Film Festival visit their website.  


Reel Artsy Fashion Spotlight - D’IYANU

Looking for a new fit for a film festival premiere? Or a stunning bold print for a night out on the town? Check out this Black-owned African style brand D'IYANU. The story behind the clothes is inspiring, a perfect illustration of finding purpose through authentic living and meeting the needs of the community. Founder and CEO, Addie Ajayi, talks about the origin of D'IYANU on the website

I was six years old when my family moved from Nigeria to the US. The transition was challenging, and I struggled to fit in. I felt different from everyone else, and spent many years trying to blend in.

But as I grew older, I embraced my uniqueness. Fashion became my form of self-expression and empowerment, and I found my individuality through clothing that helped me stand out from the crowd.

At the time, there was little to no ready-to-wear modern African-inspired clothing available in the mass market. Wearing African-inspired clothing typically involved sourcing fabric yourself and finding a tailor to make the clothes for you — a common, efficient, and inexpensive practice in Africa, but the exact opposite in the US. That’s when the idea for D'IYANU emerged.

The D'IYANU collection includes men's and women's fashion along with items for kids, and a beautiful selection of accessories that can that can jazz up your work or evening attire. For more info on D'IYANU check out their website and Instagram


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The Young Wife

The Young Wife is the sophomore movie release by auteur writer / director Tayarisha Poe (Selah and the Spades). It premiered at the 2023 SXSW Festival this week to positive reviews. It's what I lovingly refer to as a "Subtle Core"  type film; that means it's the kind of Black cinema that offers a beautifully layered and lyrical approach to Black life and love. 

The film stars Kiersey Clemons (Dope) and Leon Bridges (Ocean's Eight) as the central couple; it also features the Emmy Award-winning Sheryl Lee Ralph (Abbott Elementary) portraying Clemons' mother in the film. 

A young woman grapples with the meaning of love and commitment over the course of her “non-wedding” day. 

The film comes from the Higher Ground Productions collab with Netflix and the Obamas. More info on the trailer and release date is to come. Stay tuned!

Bottom line: Anything that Tayarisha Poe directs gets an automatic add to on our must-watch list.