On November 30th, 2018 at the New Orleans Art Center the Mass Communication Department hosted the first annual HBCU film festival. As a part of the film appreciation course taught by Dr. Tia Smith, Head of the Department of Mass Communication at Xavier University, the class decided to introduce an annual HBCU film festival that hosts a collection of black artists, performers, and designers. The Mass communications department has made gigantic strides not only through this event but others as well, in showing representation in the black community as well as demonstrating the beauty, uniqueness, and talent of black creatives both on Xavier’s campus and in New Orlean
Mizani Ball, project lead, stated that
“ I feel as if I’m helping the next generation better themselves as a whole. For the black community, I feel as if through this platform we are connecting the black community through all forms of art.”
The night proved to be a beautiful and elegant experience filled with the uniqueness, creativity, and beauty embodied in the art and the people that wandered throughout the building. There were live performances by Nubian Expressions as well as a riveting dance performance. To model the amazing clothing of the designers present at the event, there was a rather exciting fashion show. The models were representing the Vaku brand as well as one that stated “unapologetic”. The event in all was one that had the attendees in awe and admiration not only in the art around them but the sense of community created by being surrounded by so many powerful, talented, and creative black individuals.
Towards the end of the film festival, the audience was finally gifted with the knowledge of who was the winner of the overall enticing event. The winner of the first annual XULA mass communication HBCU film festival was no other than Delij George’s This is Me. The film festival exceeded all aspirations by the hosts and audience; it was an incredible experience and will definitely be highly anticipated next year for all artist and art admirers.