ISSA RAE DOCUMENTARY – Awkward Is the New Black
Issa Rae’s work has garnered over 20 million views and 200 000 Youtube subscribers. Her web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, was a refreshing comedy which amongst other things, highlighted the lack of representation of black characters in mainstream television. And, it was funny.
This short documentary explores the journey of Rae’s web series, highlighting in particular how ABG started as a zero-budget exercise amongst friends and eventually became appointment viewing with the backing of Pharrell Williams. Without the gatekeepers of traditional TV, Rae was able to let her true voice flourish, and walked right into the gap that the big broadcast networks had left wide open. The documentary is a celebration of the series, and also a challenge to indie filmmakers to fully use the digital tools literally at their fingertips, so often taken for granted.