Director Lee Daniels wants to help young filmmakers learn all about the craft by launching a school for the financially disadvantaged.
The gay moviemaker has used his screen time with films like The Butler and Precious and shows like Empire and Star to highlight hot-button social topics, like abuse, teen pregnancy, and homophobia in the African-American community, and he wants to nurture others to follow his lead.
“I’m here to elevate the gay, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), and black cause,” he tells The Associated Press. “It’s ultimately about human rights. From the very beginning of my career, everything has been about elevating the human cause. And not just in front of the scenes, but behind the scenes.”
Daniels hopes to one day build a teaching facility for those less fortunate, so aspiring directors will get the chance to share other stories that need to be heard.
“This is about telling stories and giving a voice to people who don’t have one – and a face for people who are not seen. Earlier on (in his career), I thought it was all about me. It’s not. As you grow older, you realise that your time on this Earth is… a gift from God to pass along what you’ve learned – to inspire others (with) what you have done. Make them fearless so they can break down barriers that are in front of them.”