A London-based screenwriter and director, Dionne Edwards, has seen her short film, We Love Moses, selected to show at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals in the world.
The short film, hailed as “Electrifying” by TIFF, tells the story of 12-year-old Ella’s crush on her older brother’s best friend Moses. The film first premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October last year. Since then, We Love Moses has wowed audiences at the London Short Film Festival, the Chronic Youth Film Festival, and the Hamburg International Short Film Festival among many others.
Speaking about her film’s success, Dionne said: “I’m so happy and appreciative of the incredible response to We Love Moses. It’s really encouraging to know that hard work, belief and passion for what you do pays off. The last few years have been fertile learning ground for me as a filmmaker and I’ve learned that personal work always resonates most.”
Dionne started her career at Working Title Films, on its prestigious Action Internship. She later quit the safety of full-time film industry roles and took a job at London’s legendary Rio Cinema so that she could have more time to spend writing and making films. The gamble paid off. Her short Hi, Miss! won the Audience Award at the East End Film Festival 2015 and secured the attention of Film London, which funded We Love Moses through London Calling Plus, its scheme for BAME filmmakers.
Throughout the making of We Love Moses and now through its festival journey, Dionne’s talent has been recognised by organisations that are dedicated to bringing a greater diversity of storytellers to the film industry.
Alongside Film London, We Love Moses was funded by Signature Pictures, a social enterprise that places out-of-work youth in production teams; and Sugar Films, a new production company focusing on bringing diverse stories to the screen.
The short film has also won numerous accolades including The American Black Film Festival where it was nominated for the HBO Short Film Award, winning Dionne $5,000.
Dionne is keenly aware of the role festivals and events like these have to play in raising the exposure of underrepresented filmmakers.
She said: “We Love Moses has had strong support from Black/POC-specific festivals and these festivals are incredible for fostering confidence, building relationships and providing a much-needed platform for filmmakers like myself. There’s a lot of focus on breaking glass ceilings. It feels like it’s an exciting time to be a Black filmmaker.”
Look out for We Love Moses at the upcoming British Urban Film Festival.