A two day event is taking place this month to champion the UKs Black film and TV talent
The free event, TNB XPO, has been created by The New Black Film Collective (TNBFC) to introduce an inspirational new platform for Black excellence in film and High-End TV (HETV).
Backed by the British Film Institute (BFI), ScreenSkills, Film London and the Independent Film Trust along with other screen sector support, the XPO will feature keynote speeches from Adrian Wooton OBE, CEO of Film London, BFI industry inclusion executive Melanie Hoyes, and Tolu Stedford from the Independent Film Trust, as well as a panel event including Dionne Farrell from BBC Film.
Alongside screenings, exhibition stands, pitching, networking and recruitment opportunities, a key focus will also be the graduation of 50 Black producers from the ScreenSkills Pro-Create Mentoring Programme, in association with S.O.U.L. Fest 2021, who it is hoped will come to the attention of industry leaders after working with mentors from hit films and major broadcasters for the past year.
According to a 2020 report by Dr Clive Nwonka, Britain’s Black and ethnic minority population remain excluded from key areas of the film industry, with representation still mostly located in secondary roles than in key areas of production and individuals are less likely to progress in their career or to receive mentoring support.
Priscilla Igwe, MD and Impact Producer at TNBFC said: “TNBFC strives to fulfil this gap as a Black-led organisation by empowering Black talent and encouraging autonomy.
“There’s a great deal of Black British talent that can’t wait to be accepted, included or recognised. As an influential community with a rich culture popular throughout the world, we must create and own our content within the creative industries.
“As a brand new space to achieve just that, TNB XPO will be a safe haven for cultural expression and a home for the freedom of ideas stemming from the African diaspora to solidify a supply chain for the lifecycle of Black films.”
Adrian Wootton added: “London’s diverse communities and cultures are at the capital’s core, with a multitude of authentic stories and voices to be seen and heard. It is absolutely imperative that the screen industries reflect the diversity of the city itself, both in front of and behind the camera, providing underrepresented groups with accessible pathways into roles, education and finance.
“Film London is committed to greater inclusivity across our organisation and programmes, continuing to grow our Equal Access Network and skills training, providing development opportunities such as the recently launched FLAMIN Animations programme, and supporting cinemas across the city in engaging new audiences.
“I’m thrilled to be involved in the inaugural TNB XPO, supporting new and emerging Black talent to make those fundamental connections.”
TNB XPO has a two-day hybrid format on 30-31 March, the in-person element taking place at Picturehouse Central in London before opening up to a global audience online the following day.
The full programme and tickets are available from the TNBFC website at tnbfc.co.uk.
The New Black Film Collective (TNBFC)
The New Black Film Collective (TNBFC) is a nationwide network of film exhibitors, educators and programmers of Black representation on screen. Since 2011, it has established a regular film club, an annual Black History Month programme and contributed to the last 6 BFI Blockbuster seasons. The aim is to become the UK’s top agency and resource for Black film and eventually operate on a global level. The focus for TNBFC is on building a circuit of commercial and community cinemas that will curate a diverse range of titles from the African diaspora and serve the Black community.
Priscilla Igwe: Priscilla has spent the last decade in film exhibition within the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic sector. Currently the Managing Director of TNBFC, she has diversified the organisation into production, exhibition, distribution, education and PR. In 2011, she established a regular film club and since then has introduced an annual Black History Month programme and worked on the last five BFI Blockbuster seasons. In 2015, TNBFC became the first BAME female-led organisation to distribute a film in the UK with Dear White People.
About Film London
Film London is the capital’s screen industries agency. We connect ideas, talent and finance to develop a pioneering creative culture in the city that delivers success in film, television, animation, games and beyond. We work to sustain, promote and develop London as a global content production hub, support the development of the city’s new and emerging filmmaking talent and invest in a diverse and rich film culture. Funded by the Mayor of London and the National Lottery through the BFI, we also receive support from Arts Council England, Creative Skillset and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Film London’s activities include:
- Maintaining, strengthening and promoting London’s position as world-class city to attract investment through film, television, animation and games
- Investing in local talent through a range of specialised production and training schemes
- Boosting employment and competitiveness in the capital’s screen industries by delivering internationally facing business development events
- Maximising access to the capital’s film culture by helping audiences discover film in all its diversity
- Promoting London through screen tourism
Film London also manages the British Film Commission (www.britishfilmcommission.org.uk) through a public/private partnership which is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport through the BFI, and the Department for International Trade.