Black Girls Film Camp seeks to mentor Gen-Z and give them the resources they need to advance further in the film industry. Black women filmmakers have seen a rise in recent years. According to The New York Times, the proportion of directors who belong to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups—including Black and Latino filmmakers—has risen to a 15-year high: 27.3 percent. Women of colour, who still only make up 2% of the population overall, are the group with the least traction-directing characteristics.
After beginning her doctoral studies and writing about representation in media, specifically on the disparities she discovered about Black girls in media regarding representation, access, and media literacy in the industry, Dr. Jimmeka Anderson, 37, realised she wanted to bring Black girls and film together more.
She co-founded Black Females Film Camp during the pandemic to give young Black girls a platform to express their talents and gain knowledge on how to become directors, producers, or screenwriters. Ten girls between the ages of 13 and 18 are chosen to direct and develop a short film, and the production team will be entirely made up of Black women. They will work as editors, producers, and other roles. Anderson was aware that she wanted girls to have an experience that made media careers seem like a real possibility.
In a chat with Girls United, Anderson has this say;
“For a lot of the young girls, and even some of the adult women that are a part of this program, a lot of them are struggling with having the support of their parents believing in their talents and skills as creatives. It was a young girl who did a story about perfectionism, and she was talking about the Black Superwoman complex. When I tell you, that film made me cry, [and] I was in full tears because I [saw] how she was putting so much pressure on herself at an early age at 17.”
At that very moment, she saw that this programme gave her and the other adult creatives the chance to learn from these young girls and establish a link of mutual mentoring where everyone at the camp could benefit. She remarked, “I want the ladies of the future generation to be confident in their abilities, skills, and worth in the stories that need to be told.” I want them to enter this area hesitation.
Through the programme, the girls have access to the business and the chance to network with experts including Kelly Edwards, Erica Shelton Kodish, Janine Sherman Barrois, and Quvenz.