HBCU alumna Agnes Moss is on a mission to increase representation in the film industry by empowering students at historically Black colleges and universities to bring their creativity into the space. According to WTOP, Moss is leading a scholarship competition for aspiring filmmakers at HBCUs.
The Washington, D.C. native—who graduated from North Carolina Central University—has dedicated her career to bringing the work of diverse creators to the forefront. She founded the National Black Movie Association; a nonprofit that has a mission rooted in creating opportunities for African Americans in the film industry. The organization supports emerging Black creatives in the film space by aligning them with resources, collects Black movie consumer data and amplifies the work of African American filmmakers so they can reach new audiences.
The National Black Movie Association created the Reel HBCU Challenge to inspire new generations of creatives to tap into the power of storytelling. As part of the competition, which kicked off today, students will submit short films for the chance to win scholarships. “I realized that as a Black woman, I lacked the essentials for me to succeed as a filmmaker: financial resources, practical experience and industry-proven mentors who believed in me and were willing to open doors on my behalf in Hollywood,” she told the Washington Informer. “It occurred to me that if there had been a community of Black professionals – industry veterans – in film, visual arts, technology, communication and business to whom I could have turned, my own trajectory could have been much different. I want NBMA to serve as a bridge and to provide access for students at HBCUs, or Black students at other universities, who have the skills but lack the resources to get them to Hollywood.”
Initiatives like the one being led by the National Black Movie Association are needed as there is still a stagnancy around diversity in Hollywood.