Under-celebrated but essential, Black British cinema – and its key voices – forms the focus of a new season of films, Q&As, Zoom tutorials and talks next week. Launching on Monday July 13 on BFI Player, Who We Are is a collaboration between the BFI and We Are Parable, who will also be taking over the BFI’s social airwaves for the duration of the week-long festival.
In normal times We Are Parable, a Leytonstone-based film exhibition company, creates immersive experiences for films that have Black people at the centre, involving poetry, art, music, cosplay… you name it. It once recreated the barbershop in ‘Desmond’s’ for a comedy legends season and dished out free haircuts. Which, needless to say, is awesome.
But these not being normal times, the focus has switched to online and a BFI partnership that aims to showcase great Black British films, while flagging emerging talent like fast-rising producer Fiona Lamptey (‘Sitting in Limbo’) and writer-director Nosa Eke, and offering workshops and a short film competition for young wannabe creatives.
‘This programme takeover, Who We Are, provides us with an opportunity to do three important things,’ says We Are Parable’s co-founder Anthony Andrews, ‘to look at the past, and the canon of work from Black British filmmakers; to look at the current state of affairs, with the perspective of cultural commentators; and finally to be fully focused and committed to the future generation.’
Who We Are, explains Andrews, is the first in a series of BFI initiatives aimed at ensuring ‘our exceptional filmmaking voices in this country are heard’.
BFI Player subscribers will be able to catch gems like Shola Amoo’s ‘The Last Tree’, Horace Ové’s seminal ‘Pressure’, Noel Clarke’s ‘Adulthood’, Julian Henriques’s groundbreaking musical ‘Babymother’ and Campbell X’s LGBTQ+ romance ‘Stud Life’.
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BFI London Film Festival is going nationwide – and virtual – this year.