Jacinte Blankenship (‘Intersection’): ‘Gentrification is happening’ [Exclusive Video Interview]

“I was super apprehensive,” reveals Jacinte Blankenship about working on “Intersection” in our recent webchat. She continues, “I actually got so much more confidence as a writer and producer having done this. Realizing I had this part of me that existed this whole time, and seeing our Atlanta filmmaking Community come together, was overjoying. My heart is a so full thinking about it.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.

“Intersection” is a six episode web-series available on YouTube. The dark comedy revolves around a tight Atlanta community coping with the challenges posed by gentrification. Blankenship says, “Gentrification is happening. It’s not stopping. For the negative parts, it really is a sign that we need to integrate more and not separate and segregate. A lot of times folks who move in from other places are not really cognizant of what existed there before. They try to rebrand it or make something else, when what’s actually happened there is also really beautiful. So I hope that people take away from the show is to be open minded and want a sense of connection, as our neighborhoods further integrate.”

SEE over 200 interviews with 2022 Emmy nominees

Blankenship plays Jenaya, who has to care for a son while facing the prospect of losing her house. The performance has garnered Blakenship a Primetime Emmy nomination for Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. In a touching scene towards the end of the season she tearfully sings to him that, “the more we get together the happier we will be.” The actress says, “That scene’s a doozy. There’s so much helplessness. She’s looking at her son and not having any answers. But she still has to be a mom and somehow reassure him. It’s the one thing she can do to settle in the moment of despair.”

She also writes the series with Karen Ceesay as well as creators Jennica Hill, Meg Messmer and Muretta Moss. This all-female writer’s room is complimented with a cast and crew of over 80% female and BIPOC. Blankenship admits, “we all have our personal journeys in this city when it comes to gentrification. Even in our writers room, we had to sit down and listen to each other’s experience. It got a little, um I don’t want to say tense, but it got contentious at times. It was interesting to have what’s happening on the issues happening in our writers room too. It was a really crazy parallel. It was wonderful to experience. That’s how you get to a solution, that’s how you get to brand new ideas.”

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