The Woman King movie which was released earlier this month, is a described by critics as a spectacular action-filled historical epic film about the Agojie, the all-female warrior tribe that protected the West African kingdom of Dahomey during the 17th to 19th centuries. The film is set in the 1820s and stars Viola Davis as a general who trains the next generation of warriors to fight their enemies.
A Harrisburg native and Middletown area school district graduate, Dionn Renee, was chosen by Sony Pictures Entertainment to be the selected creator of The Woman King’s movie poster.
Renee said a friend told her about a movie poster design contest Sony launched for the upcoming movie and she decided to enter.
“So I read the brief and it just aligned with me personally,” Renee said. “It was the fight of the leader and these women coming together to protect their lands and each other. And it was just so inspiring and I started to do combat sport in 2020 myself. So I understand fighting and I understand overcoming tribulations that could be life or death.”
One of the life threatening tribulations that Renee was talking about overcoming and fighting through was her battle with lupus and its debilitating symptoms. She said lupus was the fight of her life, so she relates to the fight that it took to create this movie.
“I needed to make art every chance that I could because my hands didn’t always work. When they did work, I had to make art. I had to make use of the time that I wasn’t in pain,” Renee said.
Renee designed the poster to have a combination of painting and graphic design. She said she wanted the poster to be soft, have visible brushstrokes, and a painterly quality that showed freedom, humanity, and femininity.
Renee has painted portraits of Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, and Maya Angelou, who displayed her portrait in her office. Today the poster that she designed is being shown all over the world and has opened doors to create more art in the future. Next she is working artwork for Universal Studios, American singer and songwriter, Chaka Khan, Queen Diambi, American rapper and regae artist, Lil Vicious, and more.
“I create art for everyone, but for black women, it’s so important what’s getting pushed out, because that’s the group of people who deserve representation and it’s just a beautiful thing to make,” Renee said. “It’s something I can make, something I understand. It’s something I am. I grew up with black women. I know what we need and making art that displays them in a good light is important.”
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