The National Black Movie Association and its Award Winning HBCU Student Filmmakers Feted at Inaugural DC Gala
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WASHINGTON - Tennsun -- The National Black Movie Association (NBMA), newly minted partner organization of the White House Initiative on HBCU's, announced four (4) winning filmmakers during its inaugural Reel HBCU Film Festival Gala.  Howard University's Alana I. Smith won First Prize receiving a $5,000 scholarship for her short film, "The Son That Didn't Shine"; She also won an additional $5,000 scholarship for Warner Bros. Discovery's Empower Storytelling Award, courtesy of Warner Media's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Pipeline Program.

A Gala highlight was a letter from Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris read by Agnes Moss, Founder and President of the NBMA. The student filmmakers were encouraged to continue their aspirations of working in the film industry with these words from Harris. "May this festival motivate us to continue uplifting young Black students and professionals who are the future of our Nation. And may you always dream with ambition and lead with conviction."

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Earlier, Moss, student filmmakers, entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. Trisha Bailey, keynote speaker at the Gala, visited The White House at the invitation of the Second Gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff. A former entertainment attorney, Emhoff shared insights, encouragement and some best practices with students for building their careers.

The Reel HBCU film festival was held during The White House Initiative on HBCU's National HBCU Week Annual Conference, where HBCU Presidents, students and stakeholders convened to connect federal and private resources with the HBCU community. The NBMA in collaboration with the White House Initiative on HBCUs invited all HBCU student filmmakers to submit a short film of 10 minutes in length or less to enter the competition. The top four finalists were invited to present their films for live voting during the Gala and guests determined the winners. NBMA Founder and President Agnes Moss, said "Being able to create a space where young storytellers can use their passion for filmmaking to represent our community and gain resources in the process is truly an honor."

A surprise during the evening came when entrepreneur, philanthropist and author Dr. Trisha Bailey, the Gala's keynote speaker, gifted a six-figure donation to the non-profit to continue its work. As author of her recently released motivational memoir "Unbroken: The Triumphant Story of A Woman's Journey", Bailey emphasized the importance of telling our own stories and said, "I'm impressed by the storytelling talent these students possess, and I'm honored to support them in pursuing a career that fulfills them while giving a voice to the next generation of filmmakers. When asked to share advice with GenZ filmmakers, Bailey said, "Always welcome challenges. When life gets you down or rejection comes fast and hard, commit to resilience and come back stronger. Commit to winning and let the naysayers watch you win!" In her honor, the NBMA announced the creation of The Dr. Trisha Bailey Storyteller Award to be bestowed annually to winning student filmmakers.

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The Reel HBCU Film Festival and Gala were sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division and The Color Purple. For more information on the National Black Movie Association, visit https://blackmovieassociation.org.

About The The National Black Movie Association:   a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization consisting of filmmakers, film stakeholders and film enthusiasts who champion Black films, advocate for diversity and inclusion in the film industry and promote equity in film education. The organization promotes awareness of Black culture, stories and experiences and provides resources and access to opportunities for Black filmmakers.

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Source: The National Black Movie Association

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