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Challenging Conceptions

With this years Academy Awards been and gone, over the last few years it’s brought with it the conversation of a lack of diversity within the awards themselves – from the type of film that gets recognition, who the starring roles are and the number of award wins for people of colour and women. This isn’t an article on how bias the Oscars are, rather than to highlight how the ‘bias’ debate is more prevalent than ever.

Genre conventions help film audiences know what to generally expect, but how do films challenge our ability to change our perceptions of what’s normal so to speak?

Sometimes films break free of the norm and make stand-points, take Black Panther for example. It’s a Marvel film that breaks the chains of what people perceive a typical superhero to be. It shone light on something that has been an issue within the film industry for years.

So what other films have helped to challenge equality, diversity, conception and bias?

Here’s a selection of films that we think are great examples:


“Bias” challenges us to confront our hidden biases and understand what we risk when we follow our gut. Through exposing her own biases, award-winning documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser highlights the nature of implicit bias, the grip it holds on our social and professional lives, and what it will take to induce change.


This film focuses on how painful it can be to stand out, filling out its cast with support characters of colour and flipping gender roles in subtle, but meaningful ways.


Uses history to offer bitingly trenchant commentary on current events — and brings out some of Spike Lee’s hardest-hitting work in decades along the way.

Lady Bird 

Lady Bird manages to deliver complexity to an impressive swathe of characters that include women, people of colour, LGBTQ, and diverse body types.



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