Need A List Of Diverse Films Released This Year?

The discussion around the lack of diversity in Hollywood dominated the 88th Academy Awards Sunday. Host Chris Rock and other Hollywood elite spoke out against the fact spoke out against the fact that we aren’t seeing people of color, women or scripts that tell unique stories represented at the awards show.

As an independent film festival, we put a lot of energy into choosing our programming to allow diversity in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, subject of story and location. We think it’s boring if every film at Middle Coast tells a similar story with similar characters, which is why you can expect to see the best of all genres and artists at our festival.

Our staff took on the issue in a short film we called #OscarSoWhite:


This conversation was EVERYWHERE leading up to Sunday’s show, but did you find yourself saying “yea, there were surely a lack of diversity, but what deserving artists and films weren’t on the list?”


Here’s our list of some of our favorite films from last year that weren’t recognized last night.

Beasts of No Nation

This film is phenomenal and Idris Elba’s performance was stellar. He would have been a competitive nominee in an acting category.


Spike Lee’s politically driven films often don’t fare well during awards season, but Chi-Raq’s cast gave some great performances, especially previous Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson. That characters in this commentary on gun violence in Chicago’s South side will definitely draw you in.


This comedy stars two trans-gender actresses who tell the hilarious story of female friendship through the lens of confronting a cheating boyfriend. Actress Mya Taylor has gotten so much love in the independent film world, including a Film Independent Spirit award for best supporting actress. This was our audience favorite at the 2015 festival and we hope films like this will eventually break into the mainstream.



First of all, this movie is just so good for many reasons- fantastic script, great acting and superb cinematography. Before the Oscar nominations were announced, there was a lot of talk of Bencio Del Toro being nominated for supporting actor for his complex portrayal of a Mexican ex-prosecutor helping the FBI with a cartel investigation.


Ex-Machina won an Oscar for its visual effects, but Guatemalan born Oscar Issac should have been on the list for Best Actor for his chilling performance in this science fiction thriller. He also got no recognition for Inside Llewyn Davis where he showed a different side to his acting range.


Michael B. Jordan’s performance in Creed was intense, dynamic and a lot more interesting than some of the nominees. We hope to see this talented actor get recognition eventually.

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