When I had the chance to watch ’23 & Graduated’, I was eager for the next episode. Alexis Small is a force to be reckon with. She’s the creator of cartoon ‘Judge Khalil’ and a doc-series that sheds light on graduates and their dreams. Check out our interview and where she plans to take her love for film.
What inspired you to begin doing film?
When I was 4 years old, I watched The Wiz for the very first time. I wanted to be like Dorothy. She sang, she danced, she made new friends and encouraged them. She also was fearless. My love for the arts began right there. As I got older I was fascinated with Spike Lee’s movies especially “Crooklyn”. My Sophomore year at the illustrious Bennett College in Greensboro, NC I pick up a camera for the first time. It’s an all women College, I picked up my camera and went around the campus and interviewed my fellow Bennett Sisters about the freely used word “Bitch”. “Who you calling a Bitch” was my first documentary.
Why was it important for you to create ‘Judge Khalil’?
Between the various televised police brutality cases and the high demand for animations within the African American community, I had no choice but to create Judge Khalil. Judge Khalil is an animated series about a Pre-teen who aspires to be a Judge. It’s a family- orientated with a dash of humor. I am so grateful for my fabulous cast member and Screenwriter Nakia Stephens. You all in for a real treat! Production begins next month, the cast and I are so excited! Keep up with the makings of the series @JudgeKhalil on Instagram.
What inspired ‘23 and Graduated’?
23 and Graduated is a platform for post grads to share their undergrad experience. They say “your college years are the best years” and I second that emotion! I met friends for a lifetime, I gain phenomenal mentors, (Because I have a Bennett Sisters in every state and different Countries) I traveled everywhere. Thank heavens for “A Different World” if it wasn’t for that show I probably would’ve attend an HBCU. Just like A Different World I want to inspire others by documenting everyday people’s stories. Their trials, tribulations and victories.
How did you find grads to participate in ‘23 & Graduated’?
Social Media played a big factor in me finding different people for 23 and Graduated. If a particular person sparked my interest, I just slide in their dm’s and simple asked them to be apart of the series. Shortly after posting “Looking for Post Grads to share their stories about their undergrad experience” my email inbox went through the roof. I scheduled times and dates for the interviewee and my videographers Brandon and Myeon and we filmed
What types of films are you interested in making moving forward?
I’m interested creating animations and TV Shows that inspire and educate. I also want to Direct and produce plays in the near future!
What is your initial purpose of film?
I want to do great things for people of color and women when it comes to our representations visually!