Rooney Elmi is a emerging creative based in Columbus, Ohio who specializes in visual media and pop cultural criticism. A recipient of the 2017 New York Film Festival Critics Academy co-hosted by Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment. Her essays and criticism has been published in i-D, indieWIRE, Filmmaker Magazine, Okay Africa, Reverse Shot among many others. Interests in internationalism, cyber culture, and anti-capitalism lead to her brainchild, SVLLY(wood), a biannual print and digital movie magazine, geared toward curating a radical cinephilia. The self published editorial has been read and housed in over five continents and remains one of the rare few feminist print film editorials in the world.
Additionally, she has held the title of director of development of Ohio Film Group, a state-of-the-art post production studio, handling film acquisitions and marketing in addition to interning with prolific film studio, IM Global, during the 2016 Berlin Film Festival/ European Film Market circuit. She’s now switching gears to write and direct her first short film as well as develop a feature length experimental documentary. For culture writing, film projects, speaking engagements, press, and contact info, please scroll below!
Wexner Center for the Arts - Soleil Ô and the expansion of the African image [feb 2018]
Fandor - Love, Uninterrupted [feb 2018]
Reverse Shot - First Look 2018: Taste of Cement [january 2018]
Filmmaker Magazine - Keeping Print Criticism Alive in the Digital Age [december 2017]
afterHOURS - 10 subversive, feminist horror films to check out this Halloween [october 2017]
indieWIRE - Race, Religion, Immigration: 5 New Documentaries That Capture Our Divided Times [october 2017]
i-D - where were all the female directors at the vmas? [august 2017]
Okay Africa - ‘Your Story Matters:’ Heidi Saman’s Blueprint to Making a Successful Debut Feature [march 2017]
MUBI - Women in Revolt: An International Women's Day Film Syllabus [march 2017]
Real Life Magazine - Defending Your Life [december 2016]
Body Cam [august 2016]
Media Diversified - Angela Bassett, the genius that defies age [september 2016]
TIFF/The Review - Med Hondo is the African Auteur You Need to See [august 2016]
Little White Lies - Is Western cinema ready to challenge Muslim stereotypes? [june 2016]
cléo journal - Permission, Power, and Privilege: An Interview with Kirsten Johnson [april 2016]
Socialist Worker - What are the Oscars really about? [january 2016]
War from thousands of miles away [december 2015]
*~* as editor-in-chief of SVLLY(wood) *~*
- spring 2018
issue.2: INTIFADA [read full issue] febuary 2017
- Contextualizing Uprising: Interview w/ the mastermind behind 'Filming Revolution'
Call to Arms! Interview w/ Generation Revolution co-directors
issue.1: THE FEMININE MYSTIQUE REDUX [read full issue] october 2016
- Black Femininity as the “Monstrousness”
- *here is a audio-visual component to the essay*
- The Vampiric Hottentot Venus
TRANSFORMER [short film]
theme: Somali-Muslim girlhood.
SEEN [90 minute experimental documentary]
theme: the surveillance state.
awards + conferences + panels
The New York Film Festival Critics Academy [New York City] Sept-October 2017
One of ten selected emerging writers to attend and cover NYFF screenings and events at the festival. Actively particiating in roundtable discussions with working writers and other members of the industry co hosted by Film Society of Lincoln Center, indieWIRE, and Film Comment Magazine.
The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences [Ohio Valley] June 2017
Judge for the 53rd Annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy® Awards focusing on Short Form Fiction. Up to 30 diverse short films from Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Indiana.
Radical Film Network USA: A Global Gathering [New York City] May 2017
Invited guest whose aim was to strengthen the relationships within the radical film community from across the Americas and around the globe.
Theorizing the Web Conference [New York City] April 2017
Panelist at the annual Theorizing the Web conference at the Musuem of Moving Image, presenting a talk on visual literacy and black personhood in the age of social media and Black Lives Matter.
#BlackLivesMatter in the Classroom Symposium [Columbus, OH] May 2016
One of four locally based anti-racist community and student organizers invited to speak on the Ohio State moderated by African American Studies department and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
The Ohio State University [Columbus, OH] February 2015
Speaker at #OscarsSoWhite and the Fight for Representation the politics of diversity in Hollywood.
Film Society Lincoln Center - Artist Academy and Critics Academy at NYFF55 [sept 2017]
Graveyard Shift Sisters - Horror Blackademics: Rooney Elmi's Black Feminity as the Monstrousness video essay [may 2017]
Graveyard Shift Sisters - 5 Questions with SVLLY(wood) Magazine Publisher, Rooney Elmi [dec 2016]
Film Jive Podcast - contributed to Film Jive's Soundtrack of Terror Vol. II [oct 2016]
Rooney is available to travel for conferences, festivals, panels, etc. For official C.V/ inquiry on collaborating/or press, please email for more info.