We Are Parable, the award winning film exhibition company behind events such as ‘Spike is 60’ Film Festival, ‘The Art of The Black Visual Album’ nationwide season as well as recent bespoke screening campaigns for Queen and Slim and Toni Morrison: The Pieces I am, are delighted to announce ‘Who We Are’, a week-long series of online events and film programmes designed to celebrate and spark debate around Black British film in collaboration with BFI. We Are Parable’s takeover programme takes place across BFI Channels, including BFI Player platforms from 13 July.
‘Who We Are’ will feature hosted online conversations with prominent and established filmmakers on BFI YouTube, as well as emerging Black British talent such as Nosa Eke, Tomisin Adepeju, Anthony Vander and Stephan Pierre Mitchell. There will also be access to music sets in partnership with Jazz Refreshed, curated film programmes to watch at home on BFI Player, workshop tutorials for aspiring creators to get their work made, and a short film competition for 16-19 year olds.
Anthony Andrews, We Are Parable’s co-founder said,
“We know that the landscape for Black creatives in this country is far from ideal, as alluded to by Steve McQueen’s open letter to the film and television industry. This programme takeover ‘Who We Are’ provides us with an opportunity to do three important things: 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, with mentoring sessions and a young filmmakers short film competition. This programme is intended to be a catalyst for change, and the first in a series of long term initiatives that the BFI has commited to, in order to ensure our exceptional filmmaking voices in this country are heard”
We Are Parable are working with the BFI to provide two curated ‘Who We Are’ collections on BFI Player tohighlight the wide variety of Black British films that are being made. We Are Parable Selects, will be a BFI Player collection spanning rental, subscription and free archive titles available on BFI Player and will include great work from Menelik Shabazz, Ngozi Onwurah, Shola Amoo, Campbell X and many others. This programme will sit alongside a selection of shorts, Black Lives through Black Eyes, that have been handpicked by Iyare Igiehon, founder of SOUL Celebrate Connect, and co-founder of SOUL Film Festival.
About the BFI Player collections, We Are Parable’s Anthony Andrews adds,
“We want to celebrate the variety of stories that have been, and continue to be told by Black British Filmmakers. Our film history is so rich, so it is an honour for us to go through the archives at the BFI and explore the last five decades of films that reflect who we are. In addition, we’re thrilled to work with the SOUL Film Festival to host a collection of shorts from filmmakers who are creating truly magnificent work on BFI Player.”
‘Who We Are’ will also include a series of in-depth online conversations taking place during the week long takeover, including – on Wednesday 15 July – a new wave of filmmakers taking centre stage. Emerging directors Nosa Eke, Tomisin Adepeju, Anthony Vander and Stephan Pierre Mitchell will join We Are Parable on BFI YouTube from 19:00 for a session on advice for Black British Creatives who are attempting to navigate through the industry. Insight into films that have inspired some of the most established Black directors and producers from the UK, including producer of Sitting in Limbo Fiona Lamptey, will also be part of an online event on Monday 13 July, with lively conversation and debate, as well as recommendations of films from BFI Player to the audience watching online. A full programme of events will be announced later this week, with established directors and producers taking part in events throughout the takeover.
We Are Parable will be handed over the reins to all BFI social channels for the week, using them to highlight key figures in the Black British Film arena who have been doing exemplary work for the last 50 years. From Horace Ové to Rapman, to unsung heroes, this will provide an opportunity to thank and acknowledge pioneers who have led the way and those who continue to do great work.
A range of cultural commentators have been commissioned to offer their thoughts on how Black filmmakers get their stories told in the UK industry, with Akua Gyamfi, founder of The British Blacklist offering her perspective on the landscape for creators. Co-creator of Brothers With No Game, Leon Mayne will explore serialised online content as another avenue for Black filmmakers and Jan Asante, founder of Think Cinematic will look at how creators in the UK can respond to not only COVID 19, but the Black Lives Matter movement. Each of these comment features will be published on bfi.org.uk.
In addition, We Are Parable will work with industry experts to offer a series of bi-monthly Zoom tutorials, designed to assist those who are interested in a wide variety of careers in film.
‘Who We Are’ marks the start of a long term commitment by We Are Parable and the BFI to assist young Black filmmakers; We Are Parable will collaborate with the BFI Film Academy to create a competition for 16-19 year old Black filmmakers to enter their short film (under 15 minutes), with the winners having their work appear on BFI Player. More information about the competition, which is called ‘Who You Are’ and is open from 9-23 July, is available online here. The winning entry will be announced on 3 August.
We Are Parable’s followers will also be offered an extended free trial for BFI Player so they can engage with BFI Player subscription films including Pressure (Horace Ové, 1975), A Moving Image (Shola Amoo, 2016), Second Coming (debbie tucker green, 2014), The Stuart Hall Project (John Akomfrah, 2013) and more.