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Hannah Beachler is Ellevate's 2019 International Woman of Change

Hannah Beachler is Ellevate's 2019 International Woman of Change

When you think of Black Panther, Moonlight and Beyonce’s Lemonade, there is no denying that there is a strong underpinning of societal commentary. There’s also no denying that these are beautiful worlds created on screen. Hannah Beachler is their creator.

Hannah has been recognized for her talents and for being a trailblazer. She has quite a few “firsts” under her belt:

  • first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award in the category of production design
  • first African American to win said Academy Award
  • first woman (and person of color) to work as a production designer on a Marvel superhero film

At Ellevate, we believe in the importance of role models. In breaking barriers. In creating a new reality and a new world in which we’re all equal. This is what Mobilize Women is about. This is why our community bands together to help each other out, make introductions, provide support, and act as mentors, allies and cheerleaders for each other.

We created the International Woman of Change Award to highlight the dedication and efforts of one woman with outstanding achievements in using her platform to “ellevate” other women. She has used her social, political, or financial capital to create a more equitable and just world. Last year, Debra Messing was the inaugural winner of this Award and brought the audience to a standing ovation after her acceptance speech.

Hannah's work has shown countless people once again that women are strong, independent, smart, and successful, and that diverse voices are not just a part of conversations but leading them. Her Academy Award is not just a testament to her talents in production design, but a testament to breaking the glass ceiling for all those hungry for representation, for intersectionality, and for equity. Hannah has paved the way for many to come after her and shown women and girls that their best is enough.

More about Hannah Beachler:

Hannah Beachler is an Academy Award winning production designer who made history as the first African American to not only be nominated in the category, but also the first to win. With an affinity for evocative designs and visuals, she crafts unique emotional landscapes for every story.

She recently wrapped production on director Todd Haynes’ upcoming drama Dry Run, chronicling a lawyer’s fight against the chemical behemoth DuPont. Earlier, she designed her latest project with director and frequent collaborator Melina Matsoukas, the pilot for FX’s Y: The Last Man, based on the comic book series.

Beachler designed Marvel’s Black Panther for director Ryan Coogler, the 9th-highest grossing film of all time. As both the first female and African American to work as a production designer on a Marvel superhero film, she’s received much recognition for her work: a 2019 Academy Award for Best Production Design; a 2019 ADG Award for Excellence in Production Design; a 2019 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nomination; a 2018 Hamilton Behind the Camera Award for Production Design; and a 2018 Saturn Award for Best Production Design.

She previously collaborated with Coogler on: Creed, the spinoff from the Rocky film series starring Sylvester Stallone; and Fruitvale Station, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival breakout film and winner of the Prix de L’Avenir in the Un Certain Regard competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Her designs also feature in director Barry Jenkins’ 2017 Best Picture Oscar-winning film, Moonlight, a coming-of-age tale that transcends traditional genre boundaries. The film was named one of the top 25 movies of the 21st century by the New York Times.

In 2016, Beachler designed Beyoncé’s stunning visual concept album Lemonade and took home the 2017 Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for Awards or Event Special and earned a 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Nonfiction Event or Award Special. 

Photo Credit: Chris Britt


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