Spotlight | Catching up Jayda Imanlihen of Black Girl Film School

Last year we collaborated with the non-profit organization, Black Girl Film School on a graphics package for their online program. Today we catch up with their founder Jayda Imanlihen on what’s to come for the school and how the program is getting on, one year later.
Work November 16, 2021

Last year, The Mill’s Design Team joined forces with Black Girl Film School, a collection of media experts, filmmakers, screenwriters, cinematographers, producers, directors, teachers, instructional designers, and below the line crew – all with one common goal of increasing the number of Black women working in the industry above and below the line. Working hand in hand with founder, Jayda Imanlihen, our team created a cohesive graphics package to help engage and captivate students.

We sat down with Jayda to follow up on the program, one year later. Learn more about our collaboration and Black Girl Film School in our initial interview with Jayda, here.


It’s been one year since you’ve launched Black Girl Film School’s online courses, what has been the reaction so far from staff and students? 

In the year since we launched Black Girl Film School Film Foundations I, our students have been thriving and approaching the new normal of academic education with focus and tenacity. We hosted the last cohort of BGFS Film Foundations I this summer, and this fall, we invited two students to Los Angeles to participate in our first in-person on set mentorship experience. The mentees worked on set for over a week with one of our partners at Thunder Studios.

Overall, it was a great experience for them to be on set for the first time learning directly from working professionals and to connect what they’ve learned in our online classes to a real-life commercial production project.

Are there any dates in the diary we should be looking out for in the near future with BGFS?

As we look toward the new year, we are gearing up for the release of our newest program, BGFS Camera Camp, which we will launch in Summer 2022. BGFS Camera Camp is the first academic course offering that leads our students further down the foundational path by placing the newest camera systems directly into the hands of creators who need access.

One of the core pillars of the BGFS mission is to eliminate barriers of access to technology so that Black girls can have more opportunities to learn filmmaking from behind the camera. We’re eager to bring the right partners on board for this experience.

New graphic for Black Girl Film School Cinematography course.

That being said, the new content we created with The Mill team will be used in our BGFS Film Foundations II course where we will expand on the principles we learned in Film Foundations I. In Foundations II, students will have more opportunities to apply what they’ve learned with a focus on application, camera systems, and production technology.

The community is so excited for what’s coming next and the pathways we’re paving for girls to learn at the highest level. We know that each of the BGFS characters that The Mill created highlights at least 5 different pathways BGFS students can take to advance their education from behind the camera. It’s so exciting to learn in this way and we’re equally excited to continue our partnership with the team as we grow and carve out even more pathways forward to a more equitable playing field for Black girls to advance across the industry.

You can find out more about Black Girl Film School on their website or Instagram @blackgirlfilmschool. Follow Jayda on her own channel @jayda_bgfs.