Women Filmmakers Dominate at FAMU

What started out as a minuscule event, showcasing the documentaries of the talented senior broadcast journalism students of FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, has now grown into an award-winning and lavish exhibition.

The “best of the best” documentaries from the broadcast journalism senior class are chosen and shown at the J-School Journals. Friday, J-School Journals will host its bi-annual event at 7 p.m. in the Charles Winter Wood Theater in Tucker Hall.

This year’s event promises to make history. For the first time since its fall 2006 launch, all three documentaries were created by women: Wandoo Makurdi, Jamela Browne and Ni’tavia Johnson. These women wrote, produced and acted as videographer for their documentaries.

“Having this event is such a beautiful thing. It’s our own Academy Awards (and) allows for us to present our art to the masses and let them see just how hard we worked to accomplish it,” said Ni’tavia Johnson, a broadcast journalism senior.

Johnson’s documentary, “When Love Has No Color,” focuses on trans-racial adoptions and resulting conflict for adopted children and their parents.

“Out of the all the attention that I will be receiving, my proudest moment will come when my family and my closest friends will be viewing my documentary,” Johnson said.

Kenneth Jones, broadcast sequence coordinator for SJGC and director of J-School Journals, said the goal for showcasing these documentaries is to help students establish a professional career in media.

Jones proudly gestured at the numerous awards and accolades documentaries have received throughout the years.

“We have consistently won national and regional awards for these documentaries,” Jones said. “The whole purpose is to showcase outstanding student-made documentaries throughout the community and nation.”

“The Holy Gift” is another documentary showcased which focuses on the mysteries behind speaking in tongues. The documentary was created by Jamela Browne, who said she wanted to erase many misconceptions associated with speaking in tongues.

The last documentary, “Ke Nako,” was created by Wandoo Makurdi. The film sheds light on the oppression black South Africans endured under apartheid laws. The film also shows how the country evolved and unified to host the FIFA Soccer World Cup only 16 years after the abolishment of apartheid.

“My goal for this event is to have a packed house,” said J-School Journals PRodigy firm account manager Marcus Scott. “I want to people to come out and support these documentaries, and hear a story they’ve never heard before.”