FAMU Student Filmmakers to Unveil Works in New Venue

By: FAMU Press Release
By: FAMU Press Release

Tallahassee, FL - Four years ago, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Professor Kenneth Jones hosted an event to showcase film documentaries produced by 10 of his senior broadcast students. Thirty people showed up.

Today, the event affectionately known as “Student Doc’ Night,” has been re-branded as “J-School Journals” and, because of the standing-room-only crowds in its original venue, the show has found a much bigger home in the newly-renovated Charles Winter Wood Theatre.

On Friday, December 3, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, December 4, at 2 p.m., J-School Journals will debut “Through the Lens,” four powerful documentaries written and produced by four teams of senior student filmmakers who are in the broadcast degree program in FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. From everyday smiles, to the tears shed behind the Gulf oil spill, to the hopes of a Heisman candidate and the challenges of interracial relationships, the documentaries explore these popular topics through the personal lens, i.e. perspectives of the filmmakers.

The general public is invited and admission is free.

The documentaries to be featured this semester are as follows:

• Skin Deep, an exploration of the challenges and triumphs associated with interracial relationships (Marsha Buchanan and Monique Mitchell)

• Fishing For Answers, the human devastation resulting from the Gulf oil spill crisis (Marrita Crockett and Dekywan Debose)

• Happy, a compelling look at the psychology of emotions often hidden behind a smile (Letisha Bush and Dadrian Robinson)

• Pondering Heisman, a look at FSU quarterback Christian Ponder, a candidate for the Heisman Award (Kyle Marcil and Alicia McKnight)

Showcasing the best senior film projects is the idea of Professor Kenneth Jones, an associate professor in the Division of Journalism and sequence coordinator for the broadcast degree program. Jones has watched the biannual event attract a larger audience each semester until it finally outgrew its original venue in the Journalism Lecture Hall. The move to the new venue is both practical and strategic.

“The new location of Charles Winter Wood Theatre is helping us to broaden our audience and make the screening experience of our documentaries dynamic,” said Jones.

J-School Journals provides a forum for some of the top graduating seniors in the FAMU journalism/broadcast degree sequence to each share their 15-minute documentary work with the general public. Students are encouraged to select their own topics of interest, work in teams of two, conduct the research, and plan and execute the filming and editing for a finished product. The resulting documentaries make for an entertaining and informative gathering that both the FAMU and greater Tallahassee communities can enjoy.

Said Jones, “Our long term vision is to use the J-School Journals screenings to eventually bring national and international prominence to our student filmmakers and the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.”

For more information about the J-School Journals, contact Professor Jones at (850) 599-3379 or via email at kenneth.jones@famu.edu.

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