Yance Ford Wiki: Everything To Know About ‘Strong Island’ Director

Yance Ford directed the Oscar nominated documentary film, ‘Strong Island’. Find out everything you need to know about the director including his net worth.

A Brief About Yance Ford

Yance Ford is an American director and producer. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1994 and in 2002, he began working as a series producer at PBS where he remained for ten years until 2012. In 2011, Ford was named one among 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine. Ford received the 2011-2012 Fledgling Fund Fellowship at MacDowell. In 2017, Yance Ford was ranked #97 on ‘The Root 100’ which is an annual list of the most influential African Americans age 25 to 45. Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes were both nominated for the Oscar Award for Best Documentary Feature for the film, ‘Strong Island’. Yance Ford directed the film as well. He was also the first openly transgender man to be nominated for any Academy Award and also the first openly transgender director to be nominated for any Academy Award in Oscar history. The film ‘Strong Island’ is about the murder of Ford’s brother, William Ford which happened in 1992. Yance Ford’s feature-length film, ‘Strong Island’ was recently released by NetFlix. The film is about three generations of the Ford Family but the central focus is on the killing of his brother, William Ford by a 19-year-old white man who never faced any charges for his crime. Yance Ford has also received a Creative Capital Award, and a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellowship. Yance Ford has also co-produced the documentary film, ‘The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez’. ‘The Ballad of Esequiel Hernandez’ is about the story of Esequiel Hernandez, a young American man who was murdered by U.S. Marines on the border between Texas and Mexico.The story is narrated by Tommy Lee Jones.

Net Worth of the Director

The net worth of Yance Ford is estimated to be around $3 million.

The Tragedy His Family Endured

Ford’s film, ‘Strong Island’ became a part of a national argument about whether young black men can feel safe in the US. In an interview Yance Ford raised the concern that black lives are too easy to take in the United States because nobody questions why they are so afraid of them. Yance Ford made this film to bring to light to this issue. 10 years before filming began, the US did not show too much interest in the issue until a succession of slayings of innocent African Americans followed. Yance Ford started this film to get this personal burden off his chest. His story came into limelight when in 2012, Trayvon Martin was shot in a similar way. Strong Island focuses on the killing of his eldest brother. One night in April 1992, William Ford Jr, a 24-year-old African American, was shot dead by Mark Reilly, a young white mechanic who happened to be unarmed. He had gone to Reilly’s Long Island auto-repair shop to pick up his car and the two men began to argue. There were no witnesses to the shooting itself, although there were plenty of people around, including Ford’s friend Kevin Myers. When the police showed up, they treated Myers, and the dying Ford, like criminals, rather than victims. The shooter, meanwhile, was discreetly spirited away from the crime scene. The jury closed the case deciding that it was a simple case of self-defense and reasonable fear. The case remains closed till today. In the film, Ford has shown how his attempts to speak to the authorities go unanswered. The film portrays the heart wrenching injustice faced by many African-American families in the U.S. The devastating impact of the attack led his father to die within a year after due to a stroke. His mother also died in 2012 during the production of film living 20 years in guilt, stress, self-blame and anger. Yance Ford’s film is an expression of the indelible mark his brother’s death left on their family. The murder also brought to the limelight the historical resonances with the structure of blackness in America, in their home and in the world at large. Yance Ford stepped out the protective shields and brought out to the world the grief and injustice suffered by the family at the hands of the American authorities. He explores the effect the trauma had on their family. No Film School sat down with Yance Ford to discuss his dual roll as director and character, the aesthetics of absence, and the power one derives from breaking a history of silence. The sheer brilliance with which the film has been made comes from the deep pain and inexpiable anger one goes through when an innocent loved one dies like that.

Yance Ford is quite active on her Instagram and Twitter accounts. He can be followed on her Twitter handle @yford and on her Instagram @yanceford. Yance Ford’s film, ‘Strong Island’ was nominated in the Best Documentary Film category at the Oscar 2018. This year’s Oscar 2018 Film Festival will take place on March 4, 2018.