Micah Ariel Watson
filmmaker & playwright
Micah Ariel Watson is a filmmaker and playwright whose work centers the blurred lines between the sacred and secular in Black culture, often employing poetry and hip-hop to do so. As a writer, cinematographer, and theatre-maker, her art sheds light on underrepresented, intimate stories and transcends medium and discipline. Micah's words and images seek to remind peoples of the African Diaspora that they are complex, beautiful, diverse, and made in the image of God.
Her film 40th & State (2018), was a 2018 official selection of BlackStar Film Festival, the 2019 Best Documentary winner of Black Web Fest, and screened at MOCA in Los Angeles and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and Toronto International Film Festival Cinematheque in 2019. Her film Molasses (2018) is the 2018 Grand Prize Winner of Poe Film Festival and a 2019 official selection of Richmond International Film Festival and Black Web Fest. Her films Edges (2016) and Educated Feet (2017) screened at the Virginia Film Festival.
Micah is the 2018 recipient of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Undergraduate Playwriting Award and is a KCACTF Lorraine Hansberry Distinguished Playwright for her full-length play Canaan (2018). She is also the winner of the 2018 KCACTF Gary Garrison 10-Minute Play Award, and the winner of the 2019 Theater Masters Playwrights Lab for her ten-minute play Will Be Live (2018). She received the Clay E. Delauney Memorial Award for her plays Wake Up Music! (2017) and Canaan (2018). Micah was a 2019 Sundance Theater Lab Finalist and a 2019 O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist for Wake Up Music! Her play Alaiyo is the 2020 recipient of the Kennedy Center’s Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, Hip-Hop Creator Award, Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, and received distinction for the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award. Alaiyo was also 2019 a finalist for the Leah Ryan Playwrights prize.
Recently, she is the writer/director of BET Her’s The Waiting Room: The Story of Nadia. Micah was selected for Tribeca Film Festival’s 2020 N.O.W. Creator’s Market. Her web-series Black Enough, of which she is the writer, director, and executive producer is currently streaming on YouTube and is an official selection of the Richmond International Film Festival, Miami Web Fest, and the National Black Film Festival in 2020. She is in pre-production for the second season of the series. Micah's is a recipient of SFFILM's Westridge Grant for Preserves, a feature film currently in development.
Micah is a 2018 graduate of the University of Virginia (UVA), where she majored in Drama and the African-American and African Studies Distinguished Majors Program. While at UVA, she was the founder, producer, and director of the annual theatrical production, The Black Monologues, and established a community of Black graduate and undergraduate artists. She has interned and worked with TVOne, Jesse Collins Entertainment, BET and in production for filmmakers Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena Harold. In 2020, Micah received her MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts .
Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Micah is the Artist-In-Residence for the Memory Project at the University of Virginia. In her free time, she enjoys making playlists, reading novels, having solo dance parties, and trying to figure out this thing called #BlackGirlMagic.