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.
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.
Documentary drama197440 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.
Animation & Artists Moving Image199024 mins
Autobiographical account of a mother-daughter relationship, exploring beauty standards and female sexuality.
Drama-documentary199517 mins Location: Brixton
Queer activist and artist Ajamu prepares to leave Brixton for an exhibition of his work in his hometown, Huddersfield
‘My People!’ Connor returns to his birthplace of Mayaro to celebrate his homeland’s natural beauty and manufacturing, capturing pre-independence Caribbean islands in all their glorious warmth.
Shown at the 1960 Edinburgh international Film Festival, this dazzling travelogue records Guyana’s idyllic flora and the industries that supplied raw materials for British homes.
Commissioned in 1960 to mark Nigeria’s independence, Connor directs and stars in this troubled production about shifting social relations in an emergent West African middle-class.