Seven Questions with H.S. Naji

H.S. Naji is the director of Radical Joy. In a time of mounting social unrest, a young Black woman faces a life-altering choice.

1. Who are your film influencers?

My film influencers for this particular short was the work of Julie Dash, Wanuri Kahiu, and Barry Jenkins.

2. What are the toughest aspects of making a film today?

The toughest aspect of making a film today is syncing up the resources one has to execute a project.

3. Best advice you’ve received as a filmmaker?

The best advice I’ve received as a filmmaker is the following: “When faced with critique, listen to the note behind the note.”

4. What does it mean to you to be a Black filmmaker or to create films with black stories or characters.

For me, it’s a calling fueled by excitement, ambition, and responsibility. It means to pursue a truth, as well as asking questions, with a Black lens. It’s an ever-evolving journey that I am glad to be a part of with other filmmakers.

5. What does it mean to you that your film is on Aspire TV and other platforms?

It’s a wonderful honor to be part of this platform. Our crew is so proud of the film, and we are excited to have the opportunity to share it with the world.

6. Advice you would give the next gen following you?

My advice I would give to the next generation is to keep nurturing your curiosities and your passions.

7. Are there any inspirational films, articles or books that you would recommend to go deeper into the topics and themes in your film?

Film: Daughters of the Dusts (1991)

Article: My Daughter Reminded Me That Black Joy Is A Form Of Resistance