Jamaa Fanaka wants to change the face of Hollywood. In a town long dominated by white males, the black filmmaker has taken on the industry’s entrenched power system in court. His underlying challenge: Why aren’t more entertainment industry positions filled by minorities?

That’s the basis of two federal lawsuits filed by Fanaka over the past three years — one against the Directors Guild of America and the other a class action against major movie studios. While defendants in both cases succeeded in winning pretrial dismissals, Fanaka is hoping to have them reinstated in L.A. federal court. His appeal is scheduled for oral argument before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals this week.

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