Yance Ford

When I was young, I didn’t see anyone who was trans like me anywhere in the movies.
Yance Ford

Being nominated is such a tremendous honor. An Oscar win for me and for the ‘Strong Island’ team would be the cap to an incredible journey. But it would also mean that my brother will not disappear from history.
Yance Ford

The quality of festival Q&As is often a matter of chance. Sometimes the lights come up on movies I loved, and not a single meaningful question is asked. Sometimes it’s the opposite.
Yance Ford

I will never understand how so many young women can go out in the freezing cold wearing so little clothing.
Yance Ford

I love marching bands.
Yance Ford

Film festivals are usually unpleasant experiences on some level. The lines are ridiculous, the crowds are ridiculous, or the schedules are impossibly arranged: ‘You say that there’s a film you really want to see? Try the 8 A.M. show! Oh, it’s too bad you didn’t get to bed until 2 A.M. the night before.’
Yance Ford

There is nothing quite as exciting as watching a master at work.
Yance Ford

It would have been tough for anyone to adapt ‘Push’ – an amazing but wrenching novel by Sapphire – for the screen, and I think director Lee Daniels made interesting choices, particularly with Precious’ fantasies. In my view, some of them work and some do not, but they are definitely provocative directorial choices.
Yance Ford

When I use the word ‘buzz’ in successive sentences, it’s clearly time for me to stop writing.
Yance Ford

What little return documentary filmmakers get often comes in the form of recognition by their peers and the critics who influence doc audiences around the country.
Yance Ford

Top 10
Yance Ford
QUOTES
‘Trumbo’ is conventional in its structure, mixing interviews with archival footage. What I enjoyed most about the film was its liberal use of his own personal letters to friends and family, performed dramatically by well-known actors.
Yance Ford

If my making history makes it easier for a trans kid at home somewhere to feel more at home in their skin, then I’m so excited about that.
Yance Ford

If I can help one family embrace their child and not displace them and throw them out, I’m happy about that.
Yance Ford

Most black families went from the South to the city. My family went from the South to the city to the suburbs because they wanted their children to have the realization of the suburban lifestyle. What does it mean that that doesn’t actually protect you?
Yance Ford

I remind audiences that I’m in the fortunate position to make a film about my family.
Yance Ford

White people get to do that all of the time. They get to engage in bad behavior, even felonious behavior, but they rarely wind up in jail. But as a black person, losing your temper can cost you your life. Or insisting on your rights can cost you your life.
Yance Ford

What ‘Strong Island’ does is bring a historical perspective and help people understand that what we’re treating as a modern-day phenomenon is actually not modern. It’s actually quite old.
Yance Ford

Violence against the other, and the way we otherize people out of fear, has to be examined across the board.
Yance Ford

My father just believed in my mother’s ability to do anything.
Yance Ford

Our blackness and how to survive being black in America was something that our parents instilled in us extraordinarily well.
Yance Ford

‘Strong Island’ has been a labor of love and dedication on the part of so many people, that it’s just an incredible recognition to be honored. And to be the first trans director – and, I believe, the first African-American trans director – to be nominated for an Academy Award is incredibly, incredibly special to me.
Yance Ford

‘Strong Island’ is slang for Long Island, New York. And it really grew out of – what may surprise people, it really grew out of the very vibrant hip-hop scene that, you know, is located and still generates artists out of Long Island.
Yance Ford

The justice system isn’t meant to work for people of color in this country.
Yance Ford

Black lives are too easy to take in America because we don’t want to question why people are so afraid of black and brown people to begin with. And that’s what I want ‘Strong Island’ to do.
Yance Ford

I had a list of 10 rules when we started ‘Strong Island,’ and one of them was, ‘Yance will never appear on camera with sync sound.’
Yance Ford

White communities – and I exempt poor white communities from this – have power over their representation. White people have the ability to define themselves, to exert their agency in a way that they get to be believed. No one believes black people. No one. Until a white person vouches for them.
Yance Ford

It would be easier for people to grasp that gender, sex, and sexual orientation are different things if we had as much imagination in real life as we do when we are making our movies.
Yance Ford

I would hate for people to think that ‘Strong Island’ is just about a family’s grief. It is about a family’s grief, yes, but it is also an interrogation of our criminal justice system.
Yance Ford

It’s important that people understand that ‘Strong Island’ is just as much about this claim of reasonable fear and our need to interrogate reasonable fear as it is about my family’s grief.
Yance Ford

My brother’s death picked up my life and put it down somewhere else. I had an image of myself in my mind as a working artist, and when he died, all of that changed.
Yance Ford

Everyone in the street where I grew up was given the same message: You can be anything; you can do anything. That wasn’t extraordinary; that was ordinary for us. My folks didn’t believe in black exceptionalism. There’s nothing exceptional about ‘You can have that, too’ – except when it comes to justice. You can’t have that.
Yance Ford

I think fear has been racialised. When you get someone who says ‘I was afraid’ of a big black guy, that’s enough to say, ‘Okay, not guilty,’ or, ‘No indictment.’ It’s persisted over generations, and it needs to stop.
Yance Ford

People come up and say, ‘Thank you’ for showing a black family loving their masculine-presenting child and for undoing the myth of black people as being rabidly homophobic.
Yance Ford

Grief is a very complicated monster. There’s no real exorcising of it. It has a different form every day.
Yance Ford

I’m incredibly proud to be the first trans director to be nominated for an Oscar.
Yance Ford

My impression is that the Academy is really sincere about moving toward a more inclusive and representative Hollywood.
Yance Ford

I don’t feel like a hero.
Yance Ford

I hope that audiences understand that there is a precariousness to black lives in this country that we need to address, that there has always been a precariousness to black lives in this country that we need to address. In fact, our country is built on the precariousness of black lives, the disposability of black lives.
Yance Ford

I worked at ‘POV’ for five years before I told one person about my brother.
Yance Ford

I don’t think I present as gender-conforming on screen, but some people need a little extra information.
Yance Ford

Instincts are a really important guide for any artist, but particularly filmmakers because it takes a lot to stay true to your instincts as a storyteller.
Yance Ford

I have been gender-nonconforming my entire life.
Yance Ford

Grief, for me, is a moment-to-moment experience.
Yance Ford

I have a lot of surrogate parents, but there’s no one like your mother.
Yance Ford

When I was making ‘Strong Island,’ it was very clear to me that my brother’s death was a point on a line that stretched back into the 1940s and beyond in my family – and in the nation.
Yance Ford

We have to deal with the way that race influences our criminal justice system.
Yance Ford

‘Strong Island’ is not your typical true-crime film. It’s not actually about the uncovering of evidence or following leads that hadn’t been seen before or any of that stuff.
Yance Ford

There are people who get to be three-dimensional humans in the United States, and there are people who do not.
Yance Ford

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