About Aaliyah

I choose stories that I can feel, that keep me up at night, that I have a visceral reaction to, that feel real. That doesn’t mean they’re boring documentaries. That means they can be entertaining as well. But there’s a specific perspective and point of view and it’s not whitewashed. I’m interested in people showcasing and telling stories in a way that you can tell they didn’t code switch. I think the grandest example of that is Black Panther. You wouldn’t imagine that you would have this amazing superhero movie that completely connects Black and Brown people around the globe in a way that you’re just like, “Oh my. Did she just say ‘don’t scare me like that, coloniser?’ Did she just say things that we say to each other and amongst ourselves?’ So I’m interested in stories that allow you into people’s real authentic worlds.

I read a lot growing up and when I think about movies that my sister and I would go back to over and over again, it’s movies like The Color Purple, Jason’s Lyric…things that felt like home. I loved A Wrinkle In Time, the original book. I loved Octavia Butler books. I loved all kinds of things. I love storytelling and things that allow you to escape to see a different part of life. You have to get outside of who you know. The more that people can see complex facets of folks, the more we can come together and realize that we are way more alike than we are different.

I see film as art. I see it as a form of activism. I see it as all those things. We’re very much focused on wanting to show contemporary, fresh stories of people of color and allowing you the canon to expand. Black people should be allowed to have absurdist comedies that have no point. We should be able to express ourselves in all the mediums that exist for film and create new ones, too. That’s why I’m at MACRO.