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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Armstead

Culture Spotlight Featuring Jamaal Scott

Jamaal Scott is a director, writer, actor and cinematographer from Dayton, Ohio. Jamaal first began writing and directing his senior year of undergraduate school at Central State University, shooting, editing and producing music videos for his friends. This led to his first major directing role where he shot, edited, and produced a 21 minute documentary for his university, used to encourage graduating high school seniors to enroll into his HBCU (Historically Black College and University). After graduating Cum Laude with his bachelors degree in Communications, Jamaal went on to get his MFA at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California where he honed his skills as a director and writer.

After three years Jamaal graduated honors with his Masters degree In Directing for film and television, capping off his senior year with the production of his very first short film KINGS in which he wrote, produced, directed, and edited.

Jamaal currently resides in Atlanta, GA.

Tell us about your experience at the Hip Hop Film Festival. My experience was absolutely amazing. I loved all the films that I saw, especially all the ones that were in my block. C R and the rest of the staff made me feel like family and being in Harlem for the first time felt like home. I would encourage any of my friends to submit their films here.

Why are “stories from the culture” worthy of a platform? "Stories from the Culture” are important and worthy of a platform because our stories matter, period. But also because they are intricately linked to who we are and where we come from. And when’s our stories are exposed, they give representation to black people around the world who don’t normally see themselves on screen.

Why do you think the Harlem Film House and Hip Hop Film Festival are important? The Hip Hop Film fest and Harlem film house are important because they give a platform for black filmmakers to strive and get their stories to the masses. It also gives them a community to be apart of and to network with so that they can partner and be successful together.

What projects are you working on now? I’m currently working on a few things. I have a feature film that I’m working on as DP called “Voicemail” and I’m shooting a drama fantasy tv series called “Huntress” for 6wks. On my own, I’m writing my first feature as well as another short film that will be entered into all the top festivals, including the Hip Hop Film Fest next year.

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