Orion Pictures Will Now Focus on Diverse Voices

Posted on August 22, 2020 at 2:05 pm

MGM is putting some of its money where its mouth is and rebooting its subsidiary Orion Pictures to focus on films from diverse voices, headed by Alana Mayo, who will have the most coveted power in Hollywood; the power to greenlight a project.

Power in Hollywood still belongs almost exclusively to white men. “There are almost no people of color in the film industry who have the power to say, ‘This movie is getting made and by this person,’” said Ana-Christina Ramón, an author of studies about Hollywood hiring that are published annually by the University of California, Los Angeles.

On Thursday, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the 96-year-old home of James Bond, Rocky and RoboCop, took a modest yet meaningful step toward correcting the imbalance, hiring a young producer, Alana Mayo, to remake its Orion Pictures division to focus exclusively on underrepresented filmmakers and stories. Ms. Mayo will lead a greenlight committee made up entirely of women — meaning the chairman of MGM’s film group, Michael De Luca, will not have a vote in selecting the films that Orion makes or acquires for distribution.

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Behind the Scenes

Sneak Peek From Pixar’s Fall Release: Soul

Posted on June 27, 2020 at 8:10 pm

In Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” a middle-school band teacher named Joe Gardner gets the chance of a lifetime to play the piano in a jazz quartet headed by the great Dorothea Williams. Featuring Jamie Foxx as the voice of Joe Gardner, and Angela Bassett as the voice of Dorothea, “Soul” opens in U.S. theaters on June 19, 2020.. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

There’s no movie I’m looking forward to this year more than Pixar’s “Soul,” from Pete Docter of “Inside Out” and “Up.” Voice talent includes Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx along with Tina Fey, Quest Love, “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs, and Angela Bassett. Here’s a sneak peek.

And here’s a behind the scenes panel discussion from the Essence conference.

ALL THAT JAZZ – In Pixar Animation Studios’ upcoming feature film “Soul,” Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. A single unexpected step sends him to the cosmic realms where he finds the “You Seminar”—a fantastical place where Joe is forced to think again about what it truly means to have soul. Jamie Foxx was tapped to voice Joe. Directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers and produced by Academy Award® nominee Dana Murray (Pixar short “Lou”), “Soul” opens in theaters on June 19, 2020. © 2019 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
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