A French film about two queer black women falling passionately in love is now available to watch online.
Susanne Serres, screenwriter and filmmaker of Zaya, describes it as “a short film promoting love and acceptance”.
The protagonist, Zaya, is a contemporary dancer who realises that she’s attracted to Nadege, her dance partner.
To be able to face who she is entirely, Zaya feels the need to overcome her internal fear and come out to her mother.
Her mother’s unwavering love and immediate acceptance is an emotional thing to watch, and is a much-needed relief from the tragedy so often portrayed in LGBT+ movies.
The film is made up of beautiful cinematic shots, along with a gorgeous soundtrack to go along with the heartwarming and well-acted story.
A movie like this is critical in the current social climate we are living in.
Lack of diversity in the media is something we see all too often, and it’s films like Zaya that are needed to break us out of Hollywood’s heteronormative whitewashing.
A recent GLAAD report showed that LGBTQ+ people are either invisible or used as punchlines in big Hollywood films.
GLAAD also noted a lack of racial diversity in film, with the numbers decreasing rapidly year after year.
2016 saw only 20 per cent of non-white LGBTQ+ characters in Hollywood, compared to 25.5 per cent in 2015 and 32.1 per cent in 2014.
Megan Townsend, director of entertainment research and analysis at GLAAD, told NBC News: “Representation matters.
“When LGBTQ+ people are left off screen, it sends the message that we don’t matter or that we don’t exist — both of which are dangerous.
“It’s also crucial for young LGBTQ+ people to see themselves reflected in the media.”
It certainly is.
And that’s what makes Zaya such an important and inspiring movie.