Local filmmakers work for equal representation in the Ohio Valley

WHEELING W.Va. – (WTRF) In Hollywood there has been a push for equal representation on the big screen and recently we have started to see more African Americans on camera and behind the scenes.

It spread like wildfire and now it’s here in the Ohio Valley.

Local filmmakers work hard to illuminate the Ohio Valley with their creativity by sharing their experiences, culture, and history through storytelling.

It is often overlooked as a creative outlet for black people in the region. You don’t hear of a lot of filmmakers here.

Ron Scott Jr., Ohio County

Ron Scott Jr., Mikaya Green and Kelsey Cromar are three African American filmmakers from the Ohio Valley.

They are making their mark in the industry through media, filmmaking and music videos.

Mikaya Green says she wants to educate the community about all of the extraordinary black women in history whose stories are often overlooked.

Being a black filmmaker is really important to me because it helps me feel more in tune with the black side of my race and culture.

Not only that, but I feel like black voices have been erased from our history, especially black women’s voices, so being able to tell those stories and keep them alive, especially during the history month of Blacks, is really important.

Mikaya Green, Belmont County

Recently, she made a short documentary about Shirley Chisholm, a woman who played a vital role in the evolution of African Americans and women in politics.

Inspiration comes from many places, but Kelsey Cromar says seeing successful black filmmakers in Hollywood proves hard work pays off.

Of course, at the beginning of time, there were no black filmmakers, so for the best film directors right now, being black is unbelievable.

I think Tyler Perry, from scratch, he created a multi-million dollar industry. Spike Lee of course, another great black filmmaker and those are the main people I look up to as a filmmaker and I’m like, maybe I can do that too.

Kelsey Cromar, Belmont County

She says she wants the Ohio Valley to continue growing with black filmmakers and hopes more people will be inspired to give it a try.

Ron Scott Jr. says that perspective plays a vital role in telling a story.

He says that making movies allows him to show life through the eyes of an African American man.

Filmmaking in particular, you get a glimpse into the soul of the artist or the director, but you also get a sense of how they see the world and I think that’s the best part of filmmaking of movies.

The director shows you the world he sees or the world that exists around them and he can sort of broadcast it to see if you can relate to it.

Ron Scott Jr., Ohio County

While equal representation is on the rise in the Ohio Valley, local filmmakers say we have a long way to go, but these exceptional people are prime examples of what lies ahead.

Gladys T. Hensley