Director, producer, writer
After millions fell in love with the viral Twitter tale of Zola, Janicza Bravo's signature blend of dark comedy and gritty surrealism made her the perfect director and writer to adapt it into a long-awaited feature film.
Janicza Bravo didn't just arrive as a filmmaker; we simply needed the right invitation into her universe. The sprawling odyssey of A'Ziah "Zola" King's infamous Twitter thread called to Bravo from the moment it landed in her group chat. "I felt we were very similar the day I read those tweets. And that's why I felt I had to protect it," Bravo told Vulture. "I felt and heard myself in her writing, and I wanted to be able to usher it into being and care for it in the way I'd want to be tended to." Bravo worked hard to protect the power and autonomy of the real and fictional Black women at the core of the story throughout the process, even pushing to secure A'Ziah King's blessing and executive producer credit for the film. Earlier versions of the script by two white men felt so exploitative to the film's star Taylour Paige, she passed on the role before Bravo came on board to co-write a new version with Jeremy O. Harris. With a degree in theater and design from NYU, Bravo meticulously harnesses every gesture and inch of the frame. The Brooklyn native transitioned to directing films in 2011 with shorts featured in Sundance, SXSW, AFI and Tribeca film festivals. She also directed episodes of prestige TV series like "Dear White People," "Mrs. America," "Them" and "In Treatment." Bravo's next project is another long-awaited adaptation of Octavia Butler's "Kindred."