J School Journals 2015: Reel Deal Cinema

Lights. Camera. Action. ‘Black Hollywood’ starts here. Florida A&M’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communications presented the narrative film series “Through the Lens” Saturday. Community members, students, faculty and staff filled Lee Hall auditorium to watch four short features that specialized reporting students produced.

Under the guidance of professor Kenneth Jones, 53, sequence coordinator, students were challenged to make fifteen-minute docu-films about issues that need a voice in the world. “I think it is very important for students to explore through media and publish the stories behind the stories, so that we can all be better informed and have better lives.” Jones said.

The Redzone: State of HBCU Sports written/produced by Jason Joseph, 24 and Quintin Gee,22 ; focuses on the past, present and future of African Americans in athletics and the challenges of advancing their status amongst themselves as well as PWI’s.

Trapped: The Restricted American Dream produced by Brittany Collins, 22 and LaCrai Mitchell, 21 explores the connections between poverty and lack of finances, education, hope and desirable skill sets.

Return to Sender: produced by Donovan Long, 22 and Majorie Pierre, 21, features letters that fathers have written to their African American sons that were murdered unjustly.

Stage 5: produced by Toya Womack 22, and Jordan Kinsey 22, navigates through all four stages of cancer and the methods patients and their families use to deal with the stress.

With its tenth year in existence, the event provided an intimate setting where crowd interaction was welcomed. Aayona G'Nae Allison,22, Business Administration Major rates her experience with four a half stars out of five, “My favorite [narrative feature] I chose is Return to Sender because the fathers showed so much vulnerability in their interviews. It was touching.”

Jones was pleased with the outcome of the event, “J School Journals was a very fulfilling, entertaining and educational experience that showcased a sample of the skills and knowledge of our journalism and public relations students.” The audience gave a standing ovation for the documentaries and the survivors that shared their stories.

J School journals proved to be one of the crowning jewels of the capitol city. With Florida State University’s communications program across the train tracks, competition can be fierce. Tallahassee Businessman Keith Rodgers, 46, gave students and musicians an opportunity to share their poetic skills through his productions. “Being the host of the Black On Black Rhyme weekly poetry show for the last 17 years, I have been exposed to a lot of points of views in a verbal sense. It is good to see points of views in a real life, no super heroes, non-watered down perspectives visually. Now I know Super Heroes. The only real question left is … what’s in store for Fall 2015.”