In the summer of 2021, The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte, UNC Charlotte’s Film Studies Department, Women + Girls Research Alliance, and I AM not the MEdia, Inc. collaborated to host a four-week interactive virtual learning experience, the inaugural Keepin It REEL: Black Girls Film Camp, where a group of teens learned about the film industry and how to tell their own stories on film. Working with individual professional production teams, these talented young (all first-time) filmmakers produced a powerful—and empowering—collection of 10 short films that we are thrilled to share with MVFF audiences.
In the one-hour panel discussion following the screening, Black Girls Film Camp participants and award-winning filmmakers will engage in a rich dialogue centering the experiences of Black girl voices in film. With a new and old school lens—from future Black girl filmmakers and industry veterans—the panel discusses topics ranging from Black girl invisibility to counter-storytelling and finding one’s voice in the field. Teen filmmakers will also share stories and inspiration behind their films created at this year’s Black Girls Film Camp.
Guest Curator: JIMMEKA ANDERSON, Founder/Executive Director, I AM not the MEdia, Inc.; Founder, Black Girls Film Camp
Panelists: KRISTEN JACKSON, Black Girls Film Camp filmmaker | JESSICA JOHNSON, Black Girls Film Camp filmmaker | KAREN PETERKIN, Senior Vice President of Production, Franklin Entertainment | KAREN TOLIVER, Executive Vice President of Creative, Sony Pictures Animation; Producer, Hair Love (2020 Academy Award, Best Animated Short Film) | NICHELLE TRAMBLE SPELLMAN, Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer, Truth Be Told; Writer/Producer, The Good Wife | SANAA WILKINS, Black Girls Film Camp filmmaker