FAMU student documentaries bring Obama into focus
December 6, 2008
By Paul de Revere, Tallahassee Democrat
Students at FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication screened documentaries and long-form reporting in “The Way Eye See It,” a student-work showcase Friday at the school’s lecture hall.
Four mini-documentaries clocking in at about five minutes apiece take very different approaches but all focus on President-elect Barack Obama.
“I came up with the idea . . . We’ve somehow got to (capture) the Obama impact on America,” said Kenneth Jones, broadcast coordinator and associate professor at Florida A&M University who culls pieces together for screenings from his higher-level classes. “I don’t care if they’re black, white, blue or brown . . . How does America, all Americans, how do they see it?”
In one particularly powerful moment near the end of “Obama: the Aftermath,” a young African-American male openly cries, confessing to the students’ camera what Obama as President means to him. The documentary, which shows post-election celebration in Tallahassee, was produced by seniors A’sia Horne-Smith and Oldine Monestime.
“I’m thrilled everyone feels the emotion,” she said. “I’m proud of the piece.”
As is Jones, who has big plans for the Student Documentary Night in the future. For several semesters, the screenings have packed the school’s lecture hall to standing-room capacity.
“I’d like to have standing-room only in Lee Hall in a year,” he said. “That’s one of my goals.”
Jones also says he will be submitting Friday’s student works and others for consideration in April’s Tallahassee Film Festival.