Revelation Films has acquired the worldwide rights to the hit autobiography, I Am Norwell Roberts, the story of the UK’s first black Met police officer.

Revelation Films is developing a documentary feature in the first instance with plans to expand into scripted, told against a backdrop of social and political events from each decade of his life and career. These events will be presented through a mixture of archive news, photography and music that defined the time and “will allow the audience to better understand Norwell’s struggles and successes within a world that was often very much working against him.”

Published as a hard back by John Murray Press in June 2022, I Am Norwell Roberts hit the top 10 in the Amazon charts and tells the story of the Met’s first Black police officer, joining the force in 1967. He was turned into the poster boy for progressive policing – but his day-to-day reality was anything but. His distinguished career culminated in being awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for his service in 1996; a year before his retirement. In 2016, he was the recipient of the Legend Recognition Award at the CA Awards in honour of his selfless and long dedication to the safety of the Black community and his determination to pave the way for the next generation.

The film will be set against the other ‘firsts’ in the UK Black community that coincided with the trajectory of his life as a Windrush generation child and 30-year police career; from Sir Trevor Phillips, to Joan Armatrading to Naomi Campbell, the first black woman MP Dianne Abbott to Sir Lewis Hamilton.

Tony Carne, founder of Revelation Films said: ‘The company was formed on the back of a now iconic film produced with the Terrence Higgins Trust, 30 years on it seems appropriate to be developing another film about a British Icon. It is one of the most inspiring stories we’ve had the honour to develop. Norwell has spent his entire life being ahead of the curve and his sheer perseverance has in no small part helped to see significant change in British society. His focus and determination to simply be the best copper he could be, in the most trying of circumstances, ploughed a furrow for the Met to become the much more racially diverse organisation it is today. In a time where we desperately need a new, more compassionate tone to converse, disagree and find common ground, Norwell exemplifies this spirit.’

Last month Revelation won a brand-new commission from Sky Crime for the third season of its true crime hit, The Real Manhunter (10 x 60) and a new exclusive three-year development deal with Former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton that already sees two  new pure investigation true crime docs going into production; Bellfield and West End Girls: The Search for a Serial Killer.


Jon Creamer

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