Filmmaker Ava DuVernay (When They See Us, Selma) and her production company, Array media, are launching an initiative that intends to hold law enforcement accountable, The Hollywood Reporter claims. The announcement came Monday when DuVernay made a guest appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
The Law Enforcement Accountability Project, or LEAP, is “a fund focused on storytelling around police violence and abuse that will commission projects across multiple forms of media including film, literature, theater, dance, fine arts and music,” The Hollywood Reporter asserts. The artistic move aimed at spanning over two years will launch 25 works of art, inherently empowering activists to purse narrative change.
DuVernay ensures on The Hollywood Reporter that a reflection of her own emotions and rage concerning social unrest of of George Floyd’s wrongful death is one of the aspects of this movement that encouraged her to start this endeavor.
“When I look at George Floyd’s tape, I see my uncles,” DuVernay began. “Not just in a general sense, but he looks like people in my family, like literally the facial features. Every time that that video plays on CNN or anything else, I see people that I love on the ground begging for their life.”
She continued on The Hollywood Reporter, “There’s a sense of those images, what we’re asking of each other and the storytelling around these instances, the stories that we’re telling each other, that’s what I’ve been really interested in interrogating.”
By encouraging the growth of LEAP, DuVernay believes this fund can begin to alter the way stories of social injustices and racial prejudice are told. “We’re asking for narrative change and we’re creating narrative change around political abuse, misconduct and murder of black people,” she said on The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re changing the lens of the story.”
Specifically catering to the lens of holding authorities accountable, DuVernay continues “there is a lack of accountability happening at police departments, police unions and in the courts,” she said on The Hollywood Reporter. “A lack of laws on the books that really protect citizens from officers who have a certain number of grievances. The idea is that if the courts won’t do it, if the police unions won’t do it, if the departments won’t do it, then people can do it.”
According to the LEAP website, there are two ways that those interested in inciting change can act. The first is by contributing to the fund that commissions artistic work. The second is to amplify a project by providing an email address for notifications of completed projects and social media tool kits to share LEAP updates.