Filmmaker Victoria Mahoney makes entertainment history as the first woman of color to serve in any directing position for the Star Wars $7.5 million franchise. Mahoney will join J.J. Abrams as the second unit director on the untitled “Episode IX” and will oversee the direction of the movie’s supplementary footage like establishing scenes, cutaways, and action-packed stunts.
This announcement marks a major milestone in Mahoney’s career which includes a directing resume of short films such as her semi-autobiographical film Yelling to the Sky which starred Zoë Kravitz, and episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, TNT’s Claws, and Freeform’s upcoming Misfits adaptation.
A Wrinkle in Time director, Ava DuVernay tweeted a congratulations to fellow filmmaker, Mahoney on her new position:
Happy to share this historic news. A black woman directing stories in a galaxy far, far away. First unit director #JJAbrams. Second unit director @VictoriaMahoney. #StarWarsE9 #StarWars pic.twitter.com/s689jv9I4u
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 17, 2018
Mahoney’s appointment is an important step in the right direction in creating a diverse, inclusive Hollywood including efforts like Ava Duvernay’s Evolve Entertainment Fund (EEF), an initiative that gives underrepresented demographics the chance to thrive in the entertainment industry. Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm expressed her liking of more diversity inclusion on future “Star Wars” films on the last press tour for “The Last Jedi”. “We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do ‘Star Wars,’ they’re set up for success,” Kennedy previously told Variety.com.
Catt's outta the bag. Thank you @ava for putting my name in the #StarWars #LucasFilm hat. Thank you #JJAbrams for inviting me on your ferocious ride. *This one's for the outliers, dreaming big--in small corners of the Earth. #MaytheForceBeWithYou https://t.co/G6ckWzCIwt— Vic Mahoney (@VictoriaMahoney) April 17, 2018