But for the 18th century-set “Belle,” Asante fought for diversity and the feminine eye in front of and behind the camera. “We need a variety of lenses in which to tell these stories,” she says. “Being in a strong position where you can make the decisions ... I have a responsibility to open up those opportunities.”
Now, for its next hurdle: “Belle” opens in limited release on Friday, up against no other than “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the summer’s first blockbuster. But more on that later.