Filmmakers to Check Out During Black History Month

To honor Black History Month, we are spotlighting books, writers, creators and filmmakers in the Black community.

Thanks to the work of Black filmmakers, viewers can experience Black stories through film and television. Celebrate Black History Month by catching up on films and TV shows from Black filmmakers. Below are some contemporary filmmakers whose work can be found in our collection.

Spike Lee

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone prouder of their New York City roots than Spike Lee, whose connection with the Big Apple shines through in his films. He understands what it means to make a New York film by and for New Yorkers.

Lee has never been afraid to take on social, political and race issues in his work—we’re all the better for it. His authenticity and fearlessness set him apart from others in the field. Not only was Lee awarded the Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award in 2019 for his work on BlacKKKlansman, but he is the youngest person to receive an Honorary Academy Award for his work within the cinematic arts.

You can check out a Spike Lee Joint from our collection.


Ava DuVernay

This list certainly wouldn’t be complete without the work of Ava DuVernay. Throughout her career, she has written, produced and directed both short and feature films, TV shows, documentaries, commercials and music videos.

DuVernay has received numerous accolades and awards for her work on projects like Selma, When They See Us and 13th. Much of DuVernay’s oeuvre features Black families while examining the social and political issues impacting the Black community.

Find Ava DuVernay’s work in our catalog.


Jordan Peele

Yes, his films contain masterfully created moments of terror. Yes, he is an Academy Award winner. And yes, he’s also one-half of the hilarious duo, Key and Peele. But Jordan Peele’s place in cinema goes beyond that list. By flawlessly weaving social and political commentary into his films, he has single-handedly revolutionized the horror genre for a new generation.

Place a hold on Jordan Peele’s films and tv shows.


Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler first made waves back in 2013 when his debut film, Fruitvale Station, took the Sundance Film Festival by storm. Coogler has continued to create critical and box office successes as a writer-director-producer. Marvel’s Black Panther was not only a cinematic and cultural phenomenon after its release in 2018 but also made film history as the highest-grossing movie by a Black director.

Check our collection for Ryan Coogler’s DVDs.


Regina King

You may have first heard of Regina King thanks to her prolific acting career. She has starred in dozens of films and television shows, and was awarded the Best Supporting Actress trophy at the 2019 Oscars for If Beale Street Could Talk. King was also a veteran TV director before directing her first feature film, One Night in Miami…, which gained critical and public acclaim. Whether it’s through her acting roles or directing, King continues to carve out her place in the cinematic landscape.

View King’s work in our catalog.


Barry Jenkins

Another multi-hyphenate, Jenkins has made a name for himself as a writer-director-producer of award-winning films and TV shows. Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk and The Underground Railroad television series have shown Jenkins’ dedication to showing Black stories on screen. Moonlight made him the second Black director in history to have won the prized Academy Award for Best Picture.

Place a hold on show and films by Barry Jenkins.


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