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Seeking Mavis Beacon

Seeking Mavis Beacon

Seeking Mavis Beacon

Dir. Jazmin Renée Jones
102 min

Director Jazmin Jones Attending

Jazmin Renée Jones investigates the mysterious Mavis Beacon, whose courses taught millions of people to type in the ‘80s. But who was she? Was she even real? Seeking Mavis Beacon is an inventive look at technology and Black representation.

Jazmin Renée Jones with her co-investigator Olivia McKayla Ross wanted to learn more about Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, a 1980s software that was enormously popular. The packaging displayed a beaming Mavis Beacon, a rare Black face on computer software of any kind back then (and now, really). Mavis turns out to be the Haitian-born Renée L’Espérance, who was only paid $500 (and a new suit) to be the model and the software was created by white developers who made millions. Jones and Ross are as much a part of the story, as these DIY detectives search for the model while posing questions about identity and artificial intelligence.

Film Details

Release Year: 2024
Runtime: 102 min
Country/Region: USA
Language: English
Print Source: Neon Rated
Tags: Arts, BIPOC Lens, Documentary, Guest Attending, History, Mystery, Women Directors


Director: Jazmin Renée Jones
Executive Producer: Tom Quinn, Dan O’Meara, Kate Gondwe, Charlotte Cook
Producer: Guetty Felin
Cinematographer: Yeelen Cohen
Editor: Jon Fine, Jazmin Jones, Yeelen Cohen