The Washington Journalism and Media Conference


WJMC Alumnus and Film & Video Studies Student, George Mason University

Taj Kokayi is a senior Film & Video Studies major at George Mason University, with a concentration in directing and a minor in theater performance.  He has worked on many film productions, including award-winning student films and a feature length documentary with an Oscar-nominated director. Two years in a row, he has been recognized for his commitment to representing the Black community through film with the Black Artist of the Year & the Social Media Activist of the Year Awards at George Mason’s Black Excellence Gala. And he was named this year’s Homecoming King for Black Mason Royalty. His film Woken From a Dream was an official selection at 11 festivals across the world, and won 5 awards, including Best Student Film, Best Experimental Film, and Best VFX. Taj is also currently a Finalist for the prestigious Princess Grace Award, and received a grant from the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program for his thesis film More Than A Damsel.

Taj has also received scholarships from the Alumni Association and Center for the Advancement of Well-Being and made the Dean’s List three years in a row.

In the spring of 2019, he spent a semester abroad in Spain expanding his studies to international journalism, film, and media. When he is not working on film productions, he is active in helping advance diversity on campus. During the 2019-2020 academic year, he served as a public relations chair for two of the largest Black student organizations on his campus, BSA and the Black, African-Heritage and Caribbean Coalition. And last summer, he helped organize the Black Lives Matter Peaceful March that took place on campus. He has also served as the founding directing representative for the Film at Mason Student Advisory Council and as a video producer for University Life.