By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has launched its first-ever animated short-form comedy film series, from celebrated creator Munirah Safiyah Jones. The smart, funny and relatable series, “Sincerely, Camille,” follows a trio of women navigating life, work and relationships in the throes of the 2020 Presidential Election cycle, and is a key element of OWN’s first-ever bipartisan get-out-the-vote campaign, OWN Your Vote.
The intention of “Sincerely, Camille” is to create engaging, nonpartisan dialogue centered around the issues that concern and affect Black women. Whether it be affordable health care or legal reform, “Sincerely, Camille” starts the conversation and encourages the audience to continue it. A key component of the six-part original series offers a humorous, irreverent, and informative take on politics and the issues impacting Black women in the lead-up to the 2020 November election.
Animation provides a dynamic way of delivering the sermon—minus the preaching. “Sincerely, Camille” encourages four things: dialogue about the issues, voter registration, volunteering, and informed voting.
Camille, Sara and Staci. Three friends, three different viewpoints, three varying approaches to evoking civic participation. The series follows the women’s efforts to get their communities informed, engaged, and inspired to act in one of the most important elections in American history. It provides powerful insight and edgy social commentary on the current political climate as it relates to the Coronavirus, voting, voting rights for ex-felons, and the choices that Black women face this fall.
“We are always looking for unique voices and innovative ways to tell stories that matter to our audience and we’re excited that, for the first time, OWN is creating animated comedy shorts with the talented storyteller, Munirah Safiyah Jones. The series not only entertains and engages but communicates a critical message about the importance of voting,” said Tina Perry, OWN President. “Our viewers will instantly relate to these characters as they deal with the real-world issues and concerns impacting Black women.”
Jones added: “It’s an honor to work for Ms. Winfrey and OWN and to help serve the Black community as we approach these historic 2020 elections. “My hope is that we have created a fresh, engaging way to encourage people to register to vote and cast their ballot this fall.”
The first episode, “Non Party, Son,” introduces the women at an outdoor cafe. The second episode, “Late Registration,” finds Camille hosting a grassroots voter registration drive, and introduces such supporting characters as Camille’s face shield-wearing Republican father, who announces that he’s pro guns, pro-life and pro “real talk.”
I was able to sit in on a virtual press conference, where Jones and Perry engaged in conversation moderated by Danielle Young. “These are challenging times that we live in, and we are partnering to give Black women tools. ‘Sincerely, Camille’ aims to do that,” said Perry.
Young called Jones a “crafter of words,” while complimenting her ability to blend satire, with anecdotal current events. With her success with “Junt Land,” Jones called the year 2020 “a street weave,” alluding to the chaos that is part and parcel of being a Black woman.
The first episode rolled out on Twitter in late September. Subsequent episodes, each approximately five minutes in length, will roll out on Tuesdays and Thursdays—October 6, 8, 13 and 15. Look for @OWNYourVote on Twitter and Instagram. For more information, visit OWNYourVote.TV.
Take a look at the first episode. https://twitter.com/OWNYourVote/status/1310801643605307393?s=20.