Warner Bros. Discovery Access has announced Terrie Aghaizu, Eden Igwe and Monique Needham as the filmmakers whose short films will be part of the 2023 edition of Black Britain Unspoken.
Launched in 2022, in partnership with industry charity Media Trust, Black Britain Unspoken, set out to give access and voice to Black British creatives as the industry continues to address the critical under-representation of Black talent in the screen industries in the UK; echoed by the latest Diamond report which states “the greatest area of concern for the industry is diversity off-screen.”
Back for 2023, and as part of Warner Bros. Discovery Access, the talent development programme for under-represented creatives, Black Britain Unspoken has identified three more filmmakers in Terrie Aghaizu, Eden Igwe and Monique Needham, selected from over 200 applicants and a successful pitch process to a judging panel featuring award winning Director, Filmmaker and Writer Basma Khalifa.
The three short films; Alterior by Terrie Aghaizu, Beats From Heaven by Eden Igwe and Food, Music & Vibes by Monique Needham will now be produced with the support of Warner Bros. Discovery UK & Ireland and Bounce Cinema, who join the programme in 2023 to provide production expertise, and launched on discovery+ during Black History Month this October.
Alterior breaks the conventionalized idea of what it means to be Black, by introducing viewers to the alternative Black British experience. The film celebrates black alternative voices in a society that often limits and puts them in a box. It amplifies important issues such as exploring one’s own identity, the safety of Black people in this subculture, and the significant role of finding connections within and outside the community.
Beats From Heaven places a spotlight on percussion in gospel music. It breaks down the rhythms heard within Black British churches, how they impact lives weekly, all while reflecting the specific communities present in congregations. The film documents the skill behind gospel beats as well as the large impact gospel drummers have had in secular British music today. It celebrates Black creativity and how Black churches offer a formative musical environment unlike any other, featuring 2023 Mercury Award winner Femi Koleoso from Ezra Collective.
Food, Music & Vibes is an invitation to a Black British Caribbean House Party. The film explores the nostalgic experience of the house party tradition; cross-generational and filled with delicious food, good music and a great sense of togetherness. Food, Music & Vibes will go much deeper into the unspoken tradition, reminding viewers that “we enjoy because they endured”, journeying all the way to the origins of house parties, explaining how previous generations turned hardship into joy.
Black Britain Unspoken will offer the filmmakers a pitch-to-production experience, and an opportunity to bring their creative vision to life. With the support of Media Trust, they will also be offered professional development and tailored workshops focused on media training and career progression, alongside the production management and mentorship from Bounce Cinema and Warner Bros. Discovery U.K. & Ireland.
Asif Sadiq, Chief Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery, said: We are proud of Black Britain Unspoken; proud of what it stands for and seeks to achieve, and of the success that it has already demonstrated in identifying three unbelievably talented filmmakers in Richard Ampeh, Sheila Kayuma and Tee Cee Johnson. To launch for a second series, with an even broader support offer in partnership with Media Trust and Bounce Cinema, is so exciting. I am in awe of the creative talent that we’ve seen this year and delighted to announce our three 2023 Black Britain Unspoken filmmakers Terrie Aghaizu, Eden Igwe and Monique Needham.
“As industry data shows, there’s still a long way to go to create more opportunities for those representing diverse backgrounds, and to tell stories that all of our audiences can resonate with; no matter of age, gender or ethnicity. Black Britain Unspoken goes beyond advocacy and is focused on action that brings tangible changes, giving Black British filmmakers a strong voice and the relevant tools to enter the industry. We simply can’t wait to see these films and work with these hugely talented and inspirational creatives.”
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