A multidimensional and inspired creative, Cierra "Shooter" Glaude is a writer and director focused on building "cinematic worlds where people of color, women and the queer community can see themselves represented." Glaude's portfolio boasts films such as Girls Trip, A Wrinkle in Time and the Oscar-nominated Selma. She is also one of the 42 female directors selected by Ava DuVernay to direct the American television drama series, Queen Sugar.

Glaude was "drafted" into the film world after meeting DuVernay in college at a film festival. The two kept in touch, and soon after, DuVernay gave her a shot to work on set. Glaude took advantage of the moment and worked her way up the ranks, from production assistant to one of the directors of Queen Sugar, a major TV series executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and broadcast on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network).

Her calling as a filmmaker has been a long time in the making, but took a significant step after the death of her brother, when Glaude enrolled in a video journalism class. "... That was the only thing that captured my attention that year," she recalled. Today, Glaude is one of the most promising voices in the field, and is a living testament of the importance of giving new talent a pathway into the industry. Her love of play, country roots and novel life experience has made her a refreshing and welcome addition to the media landscape. "As a director, I'm still serving the story and these people that are making it. The magic is in the work that we do. I just try to be kind because you never know what somebody is going through," said Glaude.

LASM: At what age did you venture out of Alabama?

Cierra Glaude: I was mainly in Alabama between high school and going to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Then after I met Ava, that's when I started going to New York and L.A. for the first time.

LASM: What does this breakthrough moment directing these shows in Season 5 mean to you?

Cierra Glaude: This is honestly surreal. A lot of times I look around and see how my life has changed. I got my first apartment because I can afford it now. I'm a working director and I would sit around like, "Is this for real? Is somebody messing with me?" This is my eighth episode, and I've had the time of my life doing these. It just gets better and better. I am living the dream.

LASM: What does work ethic and doing it with excellence mean to you?

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