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Diversity Day Makes A Post Pandemic Return To The Cannes Film Festival

By: Nikoleta Morales

Diversity in Cannes Film Festival 2021
Diversity in Cannes 2021

With Support From Academy Award Winner Viola Davis’ Juvee Productions Entertainment Publicist Tackles Diversity And Inclusion At Cannes Film Festival For 12th Year.

Two years after its 10th anniversary celebration, Diversity in Cannes, the independent global film movement promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival, marks its, post pandemic, return to the Croisette, with Diversity Day 2021.

Presented by Entertainment Publicist and Event Producer, Yolonda Brinkley, with support from Julius Tennon and Academy Award Winner Viola Davis' JuVee Productions and Movikarma, Diversity Day is July 12, noon to 8 PM, at Hotel Gray D’Albion. This year’s theme, Le Grand Retour: Community Over Competition, pays homage to the 18 participating filmmakers, selected based on their determination to reclaim their lives after quarantine and their willingness to travel to Cannes to promote inclusion at the world’s most prestigious film event, where diversity isn’t the first priority. The largest cohort to date, the filmmakers hale from the Belgium, Canada, Russia, The United States and the United Kingdom, sharing narratives about marginalized populations, that transcend boundaries.

"A" For Alpha" by Greg Cally

"(Dis)Connected" by Canedy Knowles

"Big Day" by Anastasia Sergeeva

"Coal in Their Veins" by Dalit Merhav

"Cupcake" by Courtney Grace

"Dreamer" by Vergi Rodrigues, Diana Zollicoffer

"Duvar" by Brittney London

"Gifted" by Kaisan Rei

"Grounded" by Annie LeClair

"Honey and Clover: A Recipe for Disaster" by Andrea Maxwell

"LE CHOIX" by Sarah Kasmi

"NOAH" by Monty Marsh

"Operation: WhiteBoy" by Kasey Weldon-Salas

"Retribution" by Mel Orpen

"The End of the World" by Sarah Lang

"The Night It Rained" by Lamont Lamar

"The Stranger" by Aubrey Rinehart

"TNC" by Bobby Huntley

“I am honored to host such diverse, talented filmmakers in Cannes, as just two weeks ago, they inspired me to action with their decisiveness. Without a solid plan from me, they said YES, followed by kind words and positive energy, motivating me to say YES to Diversity in Cannes’ return to the Croisette for Diversity Day July 12, 2021,” explains Yolonda Brinkley. “In a sea of doubt, they were my life raft, encouraging the continuation of my efforts to promote inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival. For that, they are the real MVP’s and I’m eternally grateful.”

King of Diversity in Cannes
Diversity in Cannes 2021

In three parts, Diversity Day at the Cannes Film Festival will include the Community over Competition Short Film Showcase, featuring the films of the resilient, 18-member cohort, a networking reception as well as award presentations and Cannes Conversations with Acclaimed Actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, GHESKIO’S ambassador and Award Winning Filmmaker Sean Baker, director Red Rocket, an official selection of the 74th Festival de Cannes, both recipients of the 2021 Diversity in Cannes Global Film Excellence Award.

"We are beyond excited with Yolonda Brinkley’s decision to return the Cannes Film Festival and are ecstatic to join forces with her again as she independently promotes diversity and inclusion. As we continue to navigate the global pandemic, we must be vigilante in support of those creating opportunities and making space for diverse voices and content globally.” -Julius Tennon, President, Development and Production, JuVee Production

In addition to the awards, conversations and screenings, Diversity in Cannes will host a few virtual events for those unable to travel including a diversity roundtable, the BFI’s UK Global Screen Fund Information Session and a live script reading of their first short film, a social justice project, inspired by Brinkley's cousin Kevin and written by Fred Thomas, Jr., which will premiere at the 2022 Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase.

“Movikarma is thrilled to support Yolonda Brinkley’s Diversity in Cannes. As a nonprofit organization dedicated to inclusion, equity, and representation in Hollywood, we are delighted that Diversity in Cannes is spotlighting underrepresented, impactful filmmakers. We look forward to their return to the Cannes Film Festival and their continued success.” - Jared Milrad, Founder and President, Movikarma.

For complete schedule of events, visit Facebook or Film Freeway to register for Diversity Day. Alternatively, to make a donation or volunteer, email Diversity in Cannes.


Created in 2010 by Yolonda Brinkley, Diversity in Cannes is an independent filmmaker movement promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival. The movement was established to promote the presence of underrepresented filmmakers sharing stories about marginalized populations during the Cannes Film Festival. Specifically, the grassroots initiative provides a platform for globally diverse filmmakers to promote their talents, present their work and expand their international network during the Cannes Film Festival.


Yolonda Brinkley, a full-service marketing communications professional, is an Illinois MBA with extensive brand development, event production and public relations experience. She holds a BA from Clark Atlanta University & is fluent in French with international experience. A corporately trained marketer, Yolonda worked 10 years at Ford Motor Company, including assignments with the Lincoln Mercury and Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover brands. During her 10-year tenure, Yolonda established herself as a valuable resource within the branded entertainment community. As an entrepreneur, the momentum continues. Since 2008, Yolonda has managed events for the NAACP Hollywood Bureau (Image Awards), the Hollywood Black Film Festival and Filmmakers Alliance. She’s represented actors and filmmakers at global film festivals including Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival. Yolonda constantly creates opportunities for herself and impacts the global entertainment industry as the creator of Diversity in Cannes, the independent filmmaker movement promoting inclusion at the Cannes Film Festival.


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