An Extraordinary Q&A with Huriyyah Muhammad (founder of Black TV & Film Collective)

Huriyyah is an avid writer, director, and producer who is passionate about creating long-lasting opportunities for people of color within the film, TV and digital media industries. She is also the Founder of the Black TV & Film Collective, a 501c3 arts organization with over 1200 members, artists of color and allies, focused on increasing inclusion and representation in television and film. She makes her narrative directorial debut with the supernatural suspense series, ‘Keloid’. Huriyyah holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Spelman College.

Huriyyah is an avid writer, director, and producer who is passionate about creating long-lasting opportunities for people of color within the film, TV and digital media industries. She is also the Founder of the Black TV & Film Collective, a 501c3 arts organization with over 1200 members, artists of color and allies, focused on increasing inclusion and representation in television and film. She makes her narrative directorial debut with the supernatural suspense series, ‘Keloid’.

Huriyyah holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Science from Spelman College.

1. What inspired you to create KELOID?

The Black TV & Film Collective inspired me to create Keloid! The series was created directly to increase awareness for the collective. We are a non-profit organization for TV and film professionals of color based in NYC. In 2016, we began talking about the idea of launching a network dedicated to showcasing the work of our members. We definitely wanted drama, some comedy, a thriller or two, but we also knew we wanted to represent for all the sci-fi and supernatural fans of color out there. At the time we didn’t have any scripts that we were ready to produce. So, I sat down and wrote Keloid. I started with a nugget of an idea. What would the relationship with my mother and my brother be like if the family had super powers? I remembered how my brother was as a teenager. He wanted to go out in the world and explore. My mother wanted to keep him home safe. They butted heads constantly because of it. Over 20 BTFC (Black TV & Film Collective) members came together to make the show happen, some even using vacation time from work, so they could be a part of the shoot. Many members also worked in post-production.

2. What makes this story extraordinary versus other content that is being put out for African Americans?

Keloid is extraordinary simply because of the process through which it came to be. We are a collective of artists who agree that we can do our part to increase equity and inclusion in television and film simply by helping each other. We share knowledge, contacts, information on opportunities, work to develop strong relationships and last but not least, help each other to produce our work. There is no other organization in NYC that is helping artists of color as aggressively and consistently as we are helping each other in these areas. 

3. Do you feel the audience of sci-fi/fantasy films and tv series, starring African Americans, is growing?

I think if anything, social media has helped audiences of color interested in this type of content find each other and find the content itself. There has always been a wide audience!

4. Where do you see Black TV & Film Collective 5 years from now?

Right now, we are simply struggling with funding for our programs. Because we are only 3 years old, many of the large investors won’t work with us. I know that if we keep going, this will cease to be the case. 

5. How can people support and get involved with what you're doing?

We tell people all the time that even though we are the Black TV & Film Collective, our organization is open to all people of color and ALLIES who agree that it is important to have more stories told by and about people of color. If you agree, whether you are a filmmaker or not, JOIN! Also, if there are introductions with other organizations and individuals you can help make on our behalf, please do shoot us a note. My email is huriyyah@blacktvfilmcollective.org. Our website is www.blacktvfilmcollective.org!

The Black TV & Film Collective can be found on the following social networks:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Youtube

To stay in the Keloid loop, please visit their Facebook and Instagram pages.
 

Trailer for Keloid Series

Episode One of Keloid Series

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