In 2016, Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar made history with it’s all female directorial team, including Neema Barnett, Victoria Mahoney, Tanya Hamilton, So Young Kim, Tina Mabry, Sali Richardson-Whitefield, and Kat Candler (all who have become highly sought out episodic television directors).

For the upcoming season, the series has lined up award-winning director Patricia Cardoso, the director of, Real Women Have Curves; Garrett Bradley, Christina Voros, Liesl Tommy, and DeMane Davis, who will all return after directing episodes of Queen Sugar’s second season.  Several female directors will also make their TV directorial debuts this season, including Shaz Bennett (Alaska Is a Drag) is currently on the festival circuit, Maria Govan (Rain and Play the Devil) and Lauren Wolkstein (The Strange Ones).  The most recent edition to this team of brilliant creatives is the director of the award winning feature film Jinn, Nijla Mu’min.

Mu’min’s critically acclaimed debut feature film Jinn received Special Jury Recognition for Writing at SXSW, was a part of the BAMcinématek series New Voices in Black Cinema, and will screen this summer at the American Black Film Festival in Miami.  Her work has been recognized by the Sundance Film Institute, Urban World Film Festival, and the Princess Grace Awards, and she was selected to attend Film Independent’s 2016 Fast Track program.  Last year, Mu’min was selected to attend the Sundance Institute Sound and Music Design Lab at Skywalker Ranch and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine in 2017.

In an interview earlier this year, Mu’min shared, “while my talent and skills are abundant, it is really my hard work that has spurred my success. I know I am making movies and telling stories for people who look like me, and I don’t allow anything or anyone to stop me from making this content.”  She continued, I do this through low or no-budget filmmaking, through community-building, through networking, through working with organizations and film festivals that cater to content for people of color and women, and through writing my own stories into existence.”

Mu’min’s journey shows that achieving your goals in this industry is possible, and we are excited to see what’s in store for this talented filmmaker as she is well on her way to becoming a powerhouse director!

Queen Sugar returns Tuesday, May 29 and Wednesday, May 30 at 10 p.m. ET for a special two-night premiere on OWN.  Be sure to tune in!

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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