We had the good fortune of connecting with Elon Joi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elon, what do you attribute your success to?
We have such a genuine love for helping creatives of color and feel very passionately about providing them support. Listening to the specific wants and needs of our community has contributed so much to the success of Black Film Allegiance. We allow the FAQs we receive to inform the content we share. The inception of the brand circulated around servicing Black filmmakers, so we made a pledge to help elevate those voices by providing information and access. We particularly enjoy presenting collaborative and networking opportunity through our platform by allowing their talent to speak for itself! In order to fulfill this responsibility, we constantly work to keep ourselves informed, connected, and accessible to provide resources and content in a way that feels relevant and timely for our BFA family.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
It fuels my soul to hear from people that gained something in our content that helped them successfully land an interview, crew a project, or connect with a featured artist. Some aspects of the business development came naturally, while others had to be cultivated. We started with an earnest desire to help others in very specific ways and continued to grow from there. What was difficult was forming the eventual organizational structure necessary with growth. Increase creates new challenges, but it is always welcome because it is a true sign of progress! I am learning to do better at delegating tasks. After speaking at a film festival, inspired individuals volunteered to join our collective. While we were elated to have assistance, this required a quick workflow adjustment. We are excited to see the continuous expansion in this regard. We constantly aim to be the change we’d like to see. As creatives ourselves, we know what it’s like to attend panel after panel hoping to hear specific info that’s never addressed. We use our experiences, failures, successes and questions to lead towards gaining the information necessary to share with the creatives we seek to empower.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So I’ve been in Los Angeles for 3 years and some change now, but for the first two years I was still in school– that’s the disclaimer I like to give first. Then I say within that time, I determined these are the best things to do in each category: Sights: Beach goes without saying. Having the beach beside the mountains is heavenly. People love hiking here, but you didn’t come here to exercise, you came here to eat. Food: Smorgasburg – no getting around it, this is one of the best food opportunities in LA. Why? You get a mix of everything. Perfect place to take a picky eater, or accommodate far-ranging dietary needs. My favorite place to eat at this food festival is SHRIMP DADDY. It’s as decadent as it sounds. Exciting places: Pop-up events. We get some interesting ones that only larger cities receive such as the Ice Cream Museum. We could center the trip around one of those. Concerts: Always a vibe. Pick a category of music and we can do it.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m a faith-driven person, so my relationship with God has made me feel confident to take risks without fear. My earthly support squad from past and present includes educators such as Amy Ongiri, Terah Jackson, and Leander Sales. Each of them helped inform my education in a way that centered me culturally and helped marry core values of my identity to my work and purpose. My line sisters in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. motivate me daily. Our shared experiences helped create the basis of my understanding and ability to help mentor others. My family and friends-turned-family are also key as they accept my every ambition and lend their time and energy to be my proofreaders, cheerleaders, support, and space of consistent peace. Finally, the upper level staff: SAEG Tiff D. Wesley Jasmyne Peck-Bailey – The trifecta that helped make our company creation and growth possible. Thank you for sharing the same urgency in executing our vision and for using your gifts to help empower others.
Linkedin: Black Film Allegiance
Jake Harbour Isom Washington Saeg Arts Capital City Black Film Festival