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OWN's 'Queen Sugar' to resume production for Season 5 with a focus on COVID-19 and BLM

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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
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Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar

THE WAIT IS OVER! 

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that production will resume in New Orleans for the fifth season of the critically acclaimed series “Queen Sugar” from creator Ava DuVernay. Produced by Warner Bros. Television and ARRAY Filmworks, “Queen Sugar” previously began filming in March 2020 before shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lauded series, executive produced by DuVernay and Paul Garnes, has resumed production on the remainder of the 10-episode season, with the series slated to return to air on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in 2021.

As filming halted and the world faced multiple upheavals throughout 2020, DuVernay decided to completely revamp the season to address the very real issues our country is facing through the lens of the beloved Bordelon family and the fictional community of St. Josephine. DuVernay reconceived the character arcs and storylines, writing alongside returning showrunner Anthony Sparks and co-executive producer Norman Vance to tackle head-on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protest movement that swept the country, and the lead-up to elections to showcase the specific impact and ramifications these issues have on communities and people of color. Through it all, viewers will see the joy around the pain, and humanity’s ability to persevere and find light in the darkest of times.

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Credit OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
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Queen Sugar Season Five Directors (l-r): Lauren Wolkstein ; Lisa France; Cierra Glaude

The fifth season’s directorial lineup includes previous “Queen Sugar” episodic director Lauren Wolkstein, who has been promoted to producing director, alongside helmers Lisa France and Cierra Glaude. This season continues DuVernay’s initiative since the series’ inception to hire an all-female directing team, 32 of whom made their television directorial debut on the series. The inclusive hiring extends in front of and behind the camera, with female department heads from casting to post-production and music supervision.

“Queen Sugar” was recently recognized by the Television Academy Honors for its powerful portrayal of an African-American family in the Deep South that sheds light on complex issues and challenges facing our society. Led by the talented cast of Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, “Queen Sugar’s” storylines have delved into important topics such as police brutality, addiction and recovery, and systemic racism. The series has additionally been awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and for three consecutive years was named Best TV Show Drama by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) and nominated as Television Show of the Year by the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).

Who wants sum sugar?

Ray Cornelius is one of Atlanta’s newest entertainment writers and media personalities. His arts and entertainment website, www.raycornelius.com spotlights the latest in “positive” African-American celebrity news and was established in 2012. Since that time Cornelius has covered a myriad of red carpet premieres, award shows and Atlanta-based films including Tyler Perry’s Temptation, The BronzeLens Film Festival, The Trumpet Awards, and The Steve Harvey’s Neighborhood Awards just to name a few. He has also interviewed a who’s who list of today’s top singers, actors and reality stars. With nearly 20 years of media experience, Cornelius has also worked as an associate producer for the Emmy-winning public affairs program, ATL Insider and with such award shows as The Soul Train Awards, The Trumpet Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards.