Our partners at Soleil have created a groundbreaking new subscription video on-demand (SVOD) platform which promises to address the lack of access, engagement, curation and discovery of film & TV content for the underserved audiences and filmmakers from communities of color around the world.
Soleil Space, as the platform is called, brings disruptive innovation to the notion of streaming itself, infusing community while exclusively dedicated to the stories of the Global South diasporas of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East.
Specifically from the Region are filmmakers which include a favorite of ours Suzannah Mirghani, as well as a filmmaker from Iran Saman Sorkhabi, and Lebanese filmmaker Khalil Zaarour.
The platform is the first multi sided, interactive cross-cultural premium content hub in the SVOD space, featuring the world's hottest emerging filmmakers of color. It promises to not simply change the foundations of how we discover, stream and experience films from these cultures but aims to have a transformative impact on the state of independent film, cracking the stubborn matrices of inequity, misrepresentation and underrepresentation that the mainstream Western-dominated global film industry has yet to address in fundamental, sustainable ways.
As distribution and financing continue to be the control centers of the film and TV industry — and remain in the firm grip of a small group of gatekeepers and networks — talented filmmakers of color are prevented from getting their films globally seen, monetized and promoted. This was particularly felt in the line-up of the Berlinale this year, which didn’t include any Arab filmmakers in their Competition and Encounters sections.
Soleil Space thus seeks a frustration that many filmmakers around the world share especially after years of toiling in production, earning festival acclaim only to receive little to no distribution. Actually, from data collected by Soleil, an estimated 70% of films from filmmakers of color that have made it into one of the Top 20 film festivals get no global distribution after their festival run. The few that get acquired by the bigger streamers, meet an entirely new set of hurdles and get buried on these platforms with no in-app merchandising, off-platform marketing or community support.
As Soleil Space seeks to break down these barriers and help filmmaker overcome the hurdlers, for its launch, the company has carefully curated and selected a culturally rich first cohort of 100 filmmakers of color from around the world — from fresh newly discovered breakthrough never-before-seen talent to Sundance, Tribeca, BAFTA, Venice and Cannes Festival fellowship awardees, to John Singleton Award and NAACP Image Award honorees.
Soleil is a Brooklyn-born, global media company, founded by Micha Cooper-Edwards, a pioneer media entrepreneur with a vision to unite and empower the world’s diverse diasporas through the connective and enlightening power of media.
In 2017 Cooper-Edwards founded Soleil Entertainment; a transcultural film and television production company elevating stories and creators of the Global South diasporas of Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. Soleil Entertainment eventually led to Soleil Space which was launched in 2019 and is a tech-media company and home of the Soleil Spotlight podcast , Short Film Saturdays screening series, which we partnered with here at MIME a couple of times, the Soleil Space monthly newsletter, and the newly launched Soleil Space community streaming platform.
About this new venture, Cooper-Edwards said: “We don’t exist in the boxes that Hollywood put us in, nor shows us in. Our lived realities are much more nuanced, intricate, border-crossing and intersectional. Soleil Space will be the first transcultural destination bringing the cross section of communities of color into one global meeting place dedicated to us, where we can learn more about ourselves and each other. Our content needs go way beyond entertainment. We desire in-depth storytelling that can help us find our identity, connect to ‘home’ and discover our untold and mis-told histories. We desire content that authentically represents us to the rest of the world, and that pushes our narratives forward.”
And, as promised in our header, there is a special discount code for MIME.news readers to access the site and try it out, valid until March 6th. So go ahead and try Soleil Space, it only promises to enrich our world with its focus on diversity. Because the secret to a better world isn’t more labels to distance us from our fellow humans, rather inclusive endeavors that bring us together, celebrating our differences but highlighting our global similarities.
For your free trial redemptions follow these instructions, sit back, and enjoy!
- Go to www.soleilspace.com (available on desktop and tablet only, mobile version coming later this year)
- Click Start Free Trial > Create Your Account
- In the subscription activation page, to the bottom left enter the special code for MIME community (for a 60-day Free Trial): SOLEILMIME60. And don’t forget that this unlimited redemption offer only lasts until March 6th, 2023)