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FilmFatales Features: Joslyn Rose Lyons

Joslyn Rose Lyons had something to say and the means to say it. The filmmaker has established herself as one of the most versatile and insightful of her generation, with a resume that includes short films, television, and documentaries. In each of these mediums, Lyons carves out a space that’s distinct due to its unified goal of sparking change.

Lyons’s recent output showcases this better than most. She directed the documentary STAND, which is about Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. The documentary includes interviews with several basketball and industry legends including Stephen Curry,  Shaquille O’Neal, Jalen Rose, Mahershala Ali, Ice Cube and Steve Kerr. Abdul-Rauf is a perfect subject for Lyons, given that he’s best known for refusing to stand for the national anthem as a sign of protest in 1996. 

Lyons’s documentary STAND is scheduled for 2023

The athlete was able to reach a compromise with the league, but his willingness to push back against an oppressive system falls right in line with the director’s quest for “change.” STAND is currently in post-production, and is slated for release on Showtime in 2023.

Another film that Lyons worked on recently is Butterfly Boxing. The film also has sports elements, as evidenced by the title, but the real heart of the story lies with gentrification, and the desperate measures people have to go to to protect where they live. It’s a harrowing drama, and one that showcases Lyons’s natural talent for pulling profound tension out of situations that happen on a regular basis.

In addition to her upcoming slate of releases and the impressive brands she’s worked with, including BET, MTV, UNINTERRUPTED, Warner Bros. Pictures, OWN, Discovery, Lionsgate and STARZ, Lyons is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors. The organization is dedicated to inclusivity and providing a platform for women around the world to tell their stories.

Lyons is working on her debut feature film

“I joined AWD in 2019 and it has provided a sense of community, and it has been so inspiring to see the work of so many amazing women creating films”, Lyons told the organization during a recent interview. “I am drawn to stories that allow me to play in my own shadows and inspire me to keep searching for the light.”

Despite having achieved so much already, including critical acclaim and a host of awards from the NAACP and MTV Movie + TV Awards to the Top Shorts Film Festival and the Festigious International Film Festival, Lyons still has her sights set on unrealized goals. She’s already in the development stage of her first feature film, which we can’t wait to see.

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