Asif Sadiq MBE, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Warner Bros. Discovery has announced the return of the Black Britain Unspoken programme for a second series.
Black Britain Unspoken will give three Black British filmmakers who are breaking into the media sector the backing to make a short to run on Discovery+
Launched in 2022, Black Britain Unspoken backed three filmmakers to produce and launch three short films: The Nod – Tell Me You Got Me by Richard Ampeh, Too Autistic for Black by Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson and The Power of Plantain by Sheila Kayuma.
The films were unveiled to the UK media industry at RTS London Convention 2022, and watched by director Baz Luhrmann in a private meeting with the filmmakers at the convention, before being launched on discovery+ in October 2022 as part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s Black History Month campaign. Since launch, the films have also been screened at the International Shorts Festivals; The Nod – Tell Me You Got Me has been nominated for the Paris Short Film Festival, and both Tee Cee and Richard Ampeh have been nominated for Debut Director – Unscripted at the Edinburgh TV Festival New Voices Awards.
Black Britain Unspoken returns in 2023 and again invites Black British storytellers, filmmakers and creatives to apply and pitch their film concepts to the Black Britain Unspoken commissioning panel with the chance to produce and release a short unscripted film on discovery+ during October’s Black History Month.
Applications open today via https://www.warner-access.com/programs/wbd-access-bbu and close on 28 April. From the entries, up to ten will be shortlisted to pitch to the panel which includes Warner Bros Discovery’s Clare Laycock, SVP Networks & Digital Content, and Emma Cassidy, Director Creative Services, as well as Mathieu Ajan, Founder and Artistic Director of Bounce Cinema.
The panel will select three pitches to move into production, fully supported and funded by Warner Bros. Discovery Access UK. In October, the selected films will screen at a special showcase for industry figures and run across discovery+. In addition to the financial support to make their short films, the selected filmmakers will also receive dedicated production support, as well as a professional development programme delivered by Media Trust to help develop their skills and move their careers forward.
Speaking at The New Black Film Collective Convention in London today, Asif Sadiq MBE, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Warner Bros. Discovery said: “We’re delighted to announce the return of Black Britain Unspoken, following the huge success of last year’s programme. Warner Bros. Discovery is passionate about facilitating change in the industry to help increase access and visibility for Black filmmakers – it is our hope that Black Britain Unspoken can contribute to that aim in the UK. We want to showcase unique stories, spotlight emerging talent and provide real access and opportunity for filmmakers to make their mark on the industry from pitch to production. “
Richard Ampeh, Black Britain Unspoken Filmmaker and Director of The Nod: Tell Me You Got Me, said: “Before Black Britain Unspoken, I knew I had great ideas, but I didn’t believe these ideas belonged anywhere near mainstream television let alone a media giant like Warner Bros. Discovery. Black Britain Unspoken gave me a platform to realise that there is space for content that is created by Black creatives that allows us to challenge and present alternative views on the Black perspective and experience. Hearing that Black Britain Unspoken has been commissioned for a second series brings me great joy as the impact it’s had on my confidence as a creative has been immeasurable. The creation of The Nod: Tell Me You Got Me is the single most important moment in my journey as a creative. Taking part in Black Britain Unspoken has proven to me that there is a space for Black people that wish to tell stories that are not focused on negative stereotypes or Black trauma.”
Daisy Church, Screen Industry Programme Manager at Media Trust, said: “At Media Trust, we believe it’s by giving everyone a voice that we’ll get to a more equitable society. That’s why we’re so pleased to be working with one of our longest-standing corporate partners to offer unique access and opportunities to our network of emerging talent, whilst supporting Warner Bros. Discovery to elevate the voices of Black British creatives on discovery+. From our 30-year history of supporting, mentoring, training and platforming creatives from underrepresented backgrounds across the UK, we are acutely aware of just how much hidden talent there is in Britain and the need to support this talent in telling their own stories. I am extremely glad that Black Britain Unspoken has been commissioned for another series, and that Media Trust will partner for a second time around.”
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