Film / TVSex & GenderWe See You

exclusive: director x creates a black love letter for tinder

February 25, 2020
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Director X, best known for his in-your-face music videos for artists like Rihanna, Miguel and Kendrick Lamar, recently collaborated with Tinder on an original short film entitled #BlackLoveIs to celebrate Black Love in all its forms of expression. The film features narratives from real people talking about how being Black influences their love — love for one another, as well as culture, community, family, sexuality and Blackness. AFROPUNK caught up with Director X to hear about his inspiration, learning, and activism in creating this modern, intimate and intersectional look at Black Love.

How did the Tinder project come about?
Tinder approached me about working together on a project focused on love and inclusivity. The initial idea was to do interviews, but I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to create a piece of art that showed Black Love in all its forms. When I brought forward my ideas, Tinder was on-board, trusted my vision and was excited to see the representation displayed in this way.

Why is it important to show examples of Black Love in the media?
Representation and being seen is important. I wanted this project to be more than a collection of testimonials — it needed to be different than what we’ve seen before. Black Love Is is more than a film, it’s a piece of art dedicated to the Black community and experience.

We love that you cast diverse intersections of Black Love. What was your intention in casting straight, queer and trans people for the #BlackLoveIs video?
We wanted to cast real people with real voices. We wanted people who were thoughtful and expressive and reflective of the real world. This diverse intersection is the new normal and is what needed to be portrayed in this film. Most importantly, we wanted people who were passionate about their stories.

What did you want the viewer to take away after seeing this film?
I want people to walk away with some kind of emotion — to want to call someone, to want to fall in love, to want to connect with other people or themselves. I also wanted to convey the power of shared experiences that exist for people from different walks of life.

What did you learn about Black Love when you shot this video?
Watching real people reflect and dig deep on their relationships, with themselves and with others, and their experiences as Black people was powerful.

What does “WE SEE YOU” mean to you?
“We See You” is recognizing the people who are right in front of us — whether or not it’s part of our own reality, and rather than pretending that it doesn’t exist, celebrating everything that is beautiful about it.