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Black British Filmmaking

A selection of shorts and features by black writers and directors, from milestones of the 60s and 70s to contemporary hits.

For much of the history of British film and TV, black stories were overseen by white filmmakers. By the 1960s, black writers and directors were demanding to tell their own stories, in their own way. This collection celebrates the work of black storytellers who have enriched our understanding of the black British experience. Landmark features like Horace Ové's Pressure (1975) and Menelik Shabazz's Burning an Illusion (1981) stand beside earlier milestones in short filmmaking by Lionel Ngakane and Lloyd Reckord, and 1990s work by Isaac Julien and Julian Henriques. And you'll find hits by leading lights in new black British cinema, including Noel Clarke, Destiny Ekaragha and Debbie Tucker Green. The collection also highlights the work of Ngozi Onwurah, who became the first black British woman director to get a UK theatrical release with her extraordinary debut feature Welcome II the Terrordome (1995), a controversial dystopian fable unavailable for many years.

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Ten Bob in WinterTen Bob in Winter

Drama196312 mins Location: Westminster

An early classic of Black British cinema about the intriguing social dynamics that arise as a ten shilling note is passed around the black community.

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We the RagamuffinWe the Ragamuffin

199226 mins

Julian Henriques' urban musical showcases the style, vernacular and vibrancy of British Caribbean Dancehall culture.

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Jemima + JohnnyJemima + Johnny

196629 mins Location: Notting Hill

Touching short about the friendship between a white boy and a black girl in 1960s Notting Hill.

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White Men Are Cracking UpWhite Men Are Cracking Up

199420 mins

The fatal fascination with the myth of the black feminine mystique is uncovered in Ngozi Onwurah's short

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The Body BeautifulThe Body Beautiful

Animation & Artists Moving Image199024 mins

Autobiographical account of a mother-daughter relationship, exploring beauty standards and female sexuality.

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Flight of the SwanFlight of the Swan

Drama199212 mins

A young black ballerina rejects prejudice and finds her African spirit in Swan Lake.

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BabyBaby

Drama201025 mins

A young woman attracts the attention of a street criminal after she prevents his gang from pick-pocketing.

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The Big PrideThe Big Pride

Drama196157 mins

Three convicts escape from prison in British Guyana but cannot find personal freedom.

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Tunde's FilmTunde's Film

Documentary drama197340 mins Location: Stepney

Tired of being hassled by the police and with no job opportunities, a group of teenage East End lads plan to rob a bank.

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The Homecoming: A Short Film about AjamuThe Homecoming: A Short Film about Ajamu

Drama-documentary199517 mins Location: Brixton

Queer activist and artist Ajamu prepares to leave Brixton for an exhibition of his work in his hometown, Huddersfield

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Cedar Wood & SilkCedar Wood & Silk

199514 mins

Insightful exploration of the relationship between a Jamaican mother and her British-born daughter.

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