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‘The Photograph’ director Stella Meghie shares the inspiration behind her upcoming film


UniversalIssa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield star in the upcoming romantic dramaThe Photograph.

The film’s writer and director, Stella Meghie, shared during a panel discussion at the Sundance Film Festival that her grandmother was the leading inspiration behind the film. 

“My grandmother was about to meet a daughter that she had when she was very young that went to live with her father that she hadn’t seen in almost 30 years,” Meghie said, according to Essence.

The film details the story of a famous photographer and a rising journalist who find love unexpectedly in each other’s arms. Rae’s character, Mae, embarks on a journey to learn more about her mother after finding a photo of her with an unknown man. Eventually, she comes across Michael Block, played by Steinfield, who helps her find the answers to all her questions about her mother’s early life. 

Meghie recalled thinking, “What would it be like if you thought about someone every single day for 30 years, but didn’t see them and love them?”

Meghie tells Essence that The Photograph is about black love and romance, which is is a favorite subject of hers.

“Whether it’s romantic love, romantic black love or familiar black love, it’s just what calls to me,” she said. “It’s what I like to write about and it’ll continue to be a thread.”

Meghie first worked with Issa Rae, who’s also an executive director on the film, while directing an episode of Rae’s HBO series, Insecure.

The Photograph, also starring Courtney B. Vance, comedian Lil Rey Howery and Teyonah Parris, will be in theaters February 14, 2020.

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