Home Production company Inside Culture House, the production company behind ‘Hair Tales’

Inside Culture House, the production company behind ‘Hair Tales’

0

Audiences have embraced all of Oprah Winfrey’s signature looks, from the fluffy pixie to the long under bob, and now her signature curls. But they might not have known about Winfrey’s hair journey that led to her current look or even what made Issa Rae appreciate and love her natural hair after going completely bald. Now, both stories are being told in Hulu’s upcoming docuseries, “The Hair Tales,” which premieres Oct. 22 on Hulu, as well as OWN.

When Onyx Collective president Tara Duncan and producer Michaela Angela Davis asked Black, Brown and woman-owned production company Culture House to take on the project, founding partners Raeshem Nijhon, Nicole Galovski and Carri Twigg said they recognized the “maturity” of this story and jumped at the chance.

Nijhon and Twigg have signed on to serve as the show’s executive producers alongside Winfrey and Tracee Ellis Ross, who also hosts all six episodes. Featuring interviews with Chloe Bailey, Rep Ayanna Pressley, Marsai Martin and Chika, Ross leads viewers through conversations about weaves, braids, kinks, coils, hair grease, locs and ultimately the self-discovery.

Twigg largely credits Ross’s involvement as the spark that brought this overall theme to life, telling Variety“She gave us our thesis, which is that you can follow a black woman’s journey of self-acceptance through her journey with her hair.”

“Although we each had our own specific story, we knew that with ‘Hair Tales’ there was something universal and common that we could really tell through this series that it hadn’t received. the love or shine that she deserves.” Twigg explains. “Like all the ways our hair or this portal to a black woman’s experience in this country and the world, didn’t really have had their place on screen.”

Stories like “The Hair Tales” are basically down the Culture House aisle. With a team comprised primarily of women from diverse backgrounds, the company aims to “create compelling/inclusive/radical/futuristic/beautiful films and TV shows,” in line with their company mission. Its catalog of productions also includes “Growing Up” by Brie Larson, currently available on Disney+. The documentary series, produced by Galovski, tells the coming-of-age story of a teenager or “hero” in each episode with a deeply personal interview.

According to Nijhon, Culture House was created to fill the void where she felt Hollywood had a blind spot.

“It was a response to the desire to both create stories that I felt were missing in the world, but also to create a workflow, a process and a place in a community for filmmakers and creators of colors and women,” said Nijhon. , adding, “It’s not just about the things we create. It’s also about how we did it.

Culture House has a hands-on advisory process that Nijhon and its founding partners have developed, aimed at helping address diversity issues on-screen and behind-the-scenes.

“We just wanted to be very intentional in our process. Who do we hire? Who are we helping to create jobs for? Who are we helping to train? How is it that our shows and our work appear both in the world as powerful stories, but also as powerful tools to empower the people we want to see progress through the pipeline,” adds Nijhon.

Galovski admits that if progress is slow, it is not without movement. The obstacles they faced early in their venture are persistent, with the same decision makers still occupying most of the power positions in Hollywood. But, she believes there is hope on the horizon.

“A lot of those stats are starting to change — not in the way they need to or at the level they need to, but they are,” Galovski said. “We are now seeing more people in the venues we present and work with who are more representative of our country and more representative of the cultural experiences we would like them to have.”

Twigg adds, “There’s clearly a growing movement, but that’s what we were talking about –– the fact that Hollywood needed to diversify for 50 years. Even if it changes a bit and you start to have more visibility, projects at all levels, it’s still terribly slow.