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2017 Top 40 Under 40: Enjoli Moon, 37 

Founder and creative director of the Afrikana Film Festival

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Scott Elmquist

Enjoli Moon used to make plans to visit black film festivals in other cities. Then she wondered why she couldn’t just create one here.

The daughter of August Moon, a legendary local activist and singer once known as Mr. Wiggles, she says her father was always down at City Hall or on television, and his activism had an influence on her.

Afrikana began as an organization in 2014, dedicated to showing works by artists of color and has since held two popular annual multiday festivals. This year she booked a separate, sell-out event at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts featuring activist Angela Davis. She also holds outdoor screenings at Tredegar that can draw hundreds.

“As Richmond evolves as a film town, it opens the doors of opportunity for filmmakers of color,” she says, adding that the Virginia Production Alliance increasing the tax credit it offers would make it easier for those who might not have resources.

A city advocate, Moon is chairwoman of a committee with Richmond Regional Tourism that is working to highlight historical aspects of the black experience here in 2019. Also she provides a trolley tour at her film festival for visiting black filmmakers to “spaces relevant to black history” in hopes of enticing them to shoot here. A lot of them walk away surprised and impressed, she says.

She’ll be a part of InLight this year, as well as screening a best of Afrikana two-hour film block at the upcoming Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville.

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