Friday 13th February 2015
London SE1 8XT
Screening Our Unseen Lives (S.O.U.L) was an exclusive screening and networking event held on Friday 13th February 2015 at the BFI Southbank for the film and television industries.
The event was focused on opening doors for emerging film and TV talent from Black and ethnic minority communities. SOUL and it’s film makers have the aspiration of offering television audiences fresh quality programming.
This event showcased 10 brand new films shot by emerging black and ethnic minority directors, writers and actors. It provided them with a platform to develop their craft and the post event networking reception afforded them an opportunity for them to build their network.
Ahead of the event SOUL stated that: “We want to address the issue of falling numbers of black and ethnic minority people in British film and TV. By creating a showcase of talent and an arena in which the members of our community can meet and better know each other we hope to stimulate the new connections that make new things possible.”
Friday 13th may be unlucky for some, but I for one thoroughly enjoyed this event and watching numerous very good short films. I especially enjoyed Wings (about an autistic boy missing his dead mother), This Ability (a humorous, touching and clever film about a man who just happens to require the use of a wheelchair, but doesn’t want that physical disability to be all that people see and think of him) and Small World (my 2nd favourite film of the afternoon). This is about an ex-con and his life and the interesting twists and turns life takes. The phrase “you never know who you might bump into” has never been more apt!!
The stand out favourite for me and many others was ‘Beverley’ about a Black family that move into what appears to be a white middle class neighbourhood. It portrays life on a normal estate but one where some racial tensions were evident stemming from their neighbours, the National Front marches passing through their areas and by a gang of NF members hanging out near their home.
Beverley is a gripping, interesting story, with plenty of good humour, fine acting and tension that holds your complete attention throughout. It was the longest film shown at about 25 minutes duration and was one of the most complete too.
Many films appeared to be unfinished which was a shame and I would like to see a number of them expanded upon with further episodes. I understand that lack of finance would have been the prime reason for them being short films, so we’ll have to hope that with financial backing these projects can develop in time.
I met some very talented young people at the reception and look forward to seeing more of their work in future. In the context of a lot of high profile Black British acting talent going to America for work and the lack of Black nominations (actors and films) at this year’s BAFTA’s and OSCAR’s, this is a timely intervention by S.O.U.L. which I can see complementing the work of the annual Screen Nation Awards.
© Tiemo Talk of the Town
The 10 short films shown were:
- Fedz movie trailer by Q
- Am I Not a Mother? – Lawrie Zidyana
- This ability – Gabriel Djalo
- Love Prevails – Segiola Ogidan
- Wings – Onysha Collins
- Pretty Bitch – Karla Williams
- I Know – Waiki Harnais
- Small World – Tosha Hylton
- This is not thank you – Be Manzini
- Beverley – Cass Pennant
Thank you for reading our review. We hope you enjoyed it and that if you did, will comment on it and/or share it with others who have the same interest in this topic and may also appreciate the chance to read it.
S.O.U.L.’s next event is on 22nd May 2015.
S.O.U.L’s primary focus is improving the connections between black and ethnic minority film and TV professionals, celebrating their work and connecting them with industry executives from broadcasting and film. This will result in better representation of black and ethnic minority communities both in front of and behind the camera in mainstream television and cinema.
- S.O.U.L is supported by the British Film Institute.
- S.O.U.L. Celebrate:Connect is presented in association with GRM Daily.
- Beverley is a short film project: a British mixed race teenager who battles to assert her own identity in a bleak and threatening environment – 1980 Leicester.
- Beverley is a film about a mixed race girl’s struggles to carve out a sense of identity in a confusing, shifting cultural landscape. A move from the decaying, poverty-stricken, urban environment to the relative comfort and theoretical safety of white suburbia does not provide the hope and opportunities Bev may have wished for. A familiar enemy is ever present – a threat that extends beyond her own safety – more importantly she must protect her brother and sister. By asserting her will and using her guile, Bev tries to shape her new environment into something palatable, but the result is the opposite of what she is trying to achieve.
- Review – Screen Nation Awards 2014
- Why has Black TV failed to progress beyond the Real McCoy? – Tiemo Blog 30th December 2013
- What were the judges doing? Lenny Henry attacks the BAFTA’s 2013 – Tiemo Blog 23rd May 2013