Alcorn State University student Jimmy Jones wins two awards in Mississippi State’s Story State Storytelling Competition for his short film

A junior at Alcorn State University with film making ambitions is the winner of a storytelling competition designed to creative students from around the state of Mississippi.

Jimmy Jones, an agriculture major from Edwards, Mississippi, won prizes in the Film and Master Storyteller categories in Mississippi State University Department of Communication’s Story State Storytelling Competition for his short film titled “can you see U.S.” The 10-minute film shows several interviews on topics that impact African-Americans, such as racism, the relationship with law enforcement, and much more.

Story State is a contest that is open to all undergraduate students enrolled at any Mississippi college or university. Its mission is to foster innovative storytelling that continues rich family traditions, convey core educational concepts, and illustrates societal values.

Finding early success as a filmmaker gives Jones confidence to create other hard-hitting topics for future projects. He hopes to inspire others to be fearless in their creative expression.

“Winning this award inspired me to pursue more film making opportunities,” said Jones. “I feel that some of today's problems are overlooked or not talked about enough due to the lack of information and fear of being judged. This award is not only an honor but also a potential wake-up call for others to share their stories.”

As a young African-American college student, Jones felt it was important to give others a glimpse into how he and his peers feel about societal issues concerning black people.

“I chose this topic to give people an insight into the minds of many young college students when responding to questions that are deemed uncomfortable or somewhat racial. The best way to understand is by communicating and listening. The video isn’t an attack on anyone. I hope that viewers will understand that some of the problems affect us in a variety of ways.”

Jones’ ultimate goal for his film is to encourage positive change in society.

“My generation faces obstacles such as gun violence, racial violence, discrimination, police brutality, and other issues. People talk about change but are slow to act upon it. My film brings out the different emotions that many tell us not to express. I want viewers to be able to express those feelings.”

Click here to view the short film.