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Meet Moon McMillan of Young MovieMakers of America in Compton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Moon McMillan.

Moon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
At a very young age, I fell deeply in love with writing and the art of filmmaking. I was a quiet child to say the least but my mind was always racing with different ideas and stories. I truly was in love with it and wanted to gain as much knowledge about the film industry as soon as I could. At the age of 16, I asked my parents If I could leave high school and study filmmaking in college. Surprisingly enough, they were fully on board with my decision. I knew it sounded crazy but I also was a thousand percent sure that this was what I wanted out of life. Through their help and a lot of studying, I was able to take the required steps so finish school early and begin studying film and video in college.

While in school at the age of 17, I began thinking about my life and reflecting back on my childhood. I think that sometimes we fall into certain fields and have an interest in certain things because of who and what surrounds us. A lot of times growing up kids arent exposed to all of the possibilities that this world has to offer. With that in mind, I was inspired to create Young MovieMakers of America (YMA). My goal and mission was to expose young kids in my city to the world of filmmaking. As I began to develop YMA it became much more than a film program. It became a space for young kids to tell their stories and be heard for once in a way like never before.

After completing our first session, a video I posted about YMA went viral and caught the attention of filmmakers like Jordan Peele, Ava DuVernay, Chris Weitz and many more. Since then life has changed for me and is changing daily. This goal has always been and will always be to help and inspire people across the world.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being the only African American woman in a lot of my film class plus being much younger than my classmates, many people would aim to make me feel less than. Although this was a difficult time for me, I truly believe it helped me grow as not only a filmmaker but as a woman.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
YMA’s purpose is to expose young kids around the world to all aspects of filmmaking. In addition to that through the process of them learning about filmmaking, they begin to learn a lot about themselves, how to interact with other students, how to speak in front of crowds, how to articulate how they feel and express themselves and so much more.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
When I do things simply for the love of it, that is when I truly succeed the most.

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