Black representation in the television and film industry is rising, but still desperately needed. Young Black filmmakers are making waves by building platforms so this community can increase. Jazmin Johnson, a 2020 FAMU graduate and multi-hyphenate, has been rising in the industry while being a business-owner for her film-centered company, Blkflmmkr.
Johnson recently acquired the In-House Storyteller position for Story 27 Productions, a role crafted specifically for Johnson’s talents. Story 27 Productions is a company created by Mara Brock Akil, who is famously known for works like “Girlfriends” and “Being Mary Jane.”
Akil’s support for Johnson’s ideas, opinions, and brand has greatly affirmed her creativity. She fulfills her role through capturing stories through forms like photography, writing, and social media.
“I’m learning what her routine looks like, how she’s pumping out all of these stories and how she captures life in a way that resonates with people. I’m really grateful for that,” Johnson said.
“I already knew I was a great artist but I think it hits different when people who are also great artists can see it in you.”
According to Forbes, “In movies, Black representation roughly reflects the demographic makeup of the U.S. population (13.4% Black), but Black talent only makes up 11% of leading movie roles and are often limited to projects related to their race.”
This is why representation and young Black creators are so important. You can also find Johnson on sets for artists such as SZA and in credits as a production assistant for shows like “Insecure” and “Euphoria.” Her already extensive resume has only increased after her move to Los Angeles, California. She has managed to work hard within her career, while running her own business.
Blkflmmkr was started in January 2020 and began with Johnson wanting to display her goals. Her interest in film came at an early age and she always wanted to start a business, but the idea became fully fleshed out after she started working on film sets. Film sets tend to be very fast-paced environments, but Johnson noticed that she would stand out based on the clothes she was wearing.
Now, Blkflmmkr has been able to serve as a hub through social media by posting film-related job opportunities, short film and show suggestions and quotes and tips that inspire their audience.
FAMU Alumnus Emmanuel Childs played a part in Blkflmmkr’s growth by interning. Childs owns his own brand called Maison de Mykial, and working alongside Johnson had a hand in the process of starting his business.
“She was my foundation in terms of making clothes and how I could do it on my own. The cohesiveness in the vision of her brand is definitely something to look up to. She’s really good at community building,” Childs said.
Marcus Williams, a senior Florida State University student, wears Blkflmmkr to affirm himself and his aspirations.
“What I like about the Blkflmmkr brand is that it is affirming, motivational, and has rich content that creates a collective community of black, brown, and queer creators,” Williams said. “I feel seen as a black creator.”
Johnson is the true definition of “hardly home but always repping.” She keeps FAMU, Tallahassee, and her hometown Orlando in mind as she creates and continues to build her brand.
It is clear that Johnson’s heart is in making an impact on the film industry and ultimately the world. She is actively improving the state of Black representation in film. Whether it’s her own content or her connection to the Blkflmmkr community, there has always been a high level of dedication to her craft.