Cardinal Pictures' Diversity Statement
In the early 1910s, nickelodeons, small movie theaters that charged a nickel for admission, were thought of as places of disrepute. Because of their low price, they became locations where the working class, people of color, immigrant communities and single women could congregate in front of the warm glow of the moving image. Movie audiences have always been diverse because of the universality of cinematic language. Film can cross boundaries whether based on language, race, or geography. The core of most human stories is universal: the aching to be loved, the terror of monsters in the dark, the joy of reunions. The movies have always been popular to a wide range of audiences, even when those behind the camera have been exclusively white, male, and straight. Sadly, even in 2016, that specific image of who a filmmaker can be prevails. Even on Wesleyan’s campus, the stock image of a Film Studies major still fits the same description.
Just as the appeal of film is not confined to any one group, so too should be the tools of filmmaking. We, the Cardinal Pictures Staff, would like to state our commitment to diversity in film, both behind and in front of the camera. In addition to the historical white-male dominance of the art form, expensive equipment and restricted access to resources creates a high barrier of entry into filmmaking for marginalized groups. That is, women, people of color, LGTBQ+, and lower-income communities. We are here to lower that barrier of entry and make filmmaking equipment and resources available to all. If the packed screening of Moonlight on November 2nd teaches us anything, it is that the most exciting filmmakers to come in America will be from those same marginalized groups who are able to tell stories that have been missing from the screen for decades.
We apologize to the Wesleyan Community, for most of our productions that have been supported by Cardinal Pictures since its inception have been predominantly helmed by the same white-male filmmaker archetype. If you have ever felt alienated by Wesleyan’s filmmaking community despite your interest in making films, we implore you to take a chance with us and let us support you in your filmmaking endeavors, whether it’s your first or your hundredth. If you have suggestions as to how we can do better to support the diversity of potential filmmakers and film stories, feel free to let us know as we are always open to listen. In the wake of controversy within Hollywood, be it #OscarsSoWhite or the 4% statistic of women working in the industry, the filmmaking community in America can do better, so much better, and we here at Cardinal Pictures would like to do better too.
So, come make a movie with us.
Cardinal Pictures Staff
23 November 2016