Award-winning film exhibition company, We Are Parable, is hosting a week-long series of online events and film programmes under the theme, “Who We Are”, to celebrate and spark debate around Black British film, past, present and future, from 13 July.

We Are Parable
We Are Parable Co-founders Anthony and Teanne Andrews with Academy Award winning director Spike Lee at their “Spike is 60” Film Festival

Starting out seven years ago as a simple wish of husband and wife duo, Anthony and Teanne Andrews to screen their favourite film in their local cinema; today, We Are Parable is recognised as an award-winning platform that creates rich, cinematic events and experiences for Black audiences.

Having worked with the cream of Hollywood and British film, including the legendary Spike Lee, Idris Elba, Ryan Coogler, Tinge Krishnan, Amma Asante and many others, in their latest project, We Are Parable have partnered with BFI in a takeover programme to give us ‘Who We Are’, two curated collections on BFI Player to highlight the wide variety of Black British films.

We Are Parable Selects, will be a BFI Player collection spanning rental, subscription and free archive titles available on BFI Player and will include the works of Menelik Shabazz, Ngozi Onwurah, Shola Amoo, Campbell X and many others. This programme will sit alongside a selection of shorts, Black Lives through Black Eyes, that have been handpicked by Iyare Igiehon, founder of SOUL Celebrate Connect, and co-founder of SOUL Film Festival.

We Are Parable
Top L to R: Second Coming (debbie tucker green, 2014), Stud Life (Campbell X, 2012)
Middle L to R: Babymother (Julian Henriques, 1998), Burning An Illusion (Menelik Shabazz, 1981), Welcome II the Terrordome (Ngozi Onwurah, 1995)
Bottom L to R: Pressure (Horace Ové, 1975), The Stuart Hall Project (John Akomfrah, 2013)

The ‘Who We Are’ takeover will also feature a jampacked line-up of activities and events throughout the week, with online conversations featuring prominent and established filmmakers on BFI YouTube, as well as emerging Black British talent such as Nosa Eke, Tomisin Adepeju, Anthony Vander and Stephan Pierre Mitchell.

Anthony Andrews, We Are Parable’s co-founder said: “We know that the landscape for Black creatives in this country is far from ideal, as alluded to by Steve McQueen’s open letter to the film and television industry. This programme takeover ‘Who We Are’ provides us with an opportunity to do three important things: to look at the past, and the canon of work from Black British filmmakers; to look at the current state of affairs, with the perspective of cultural commentators; and finally to be fully focused and committed to the future generation, with mentoring sessions and a young filmmakers short film competition. This programme is intended to be a catalyst for change, and the first in a series of long-term initiatives that the BFI has committed to, in order to ensure our exceptional filmmaking voices in this country are heard.”

“This programme is intended to be a catalyst for change, and the first in a series of long-term initiatives that the BFI has committed to, in order to ensure our exceptional filmmaking voices in this country are heard.”

Social media is not left out of the takeover programme. BFI has handed all their social channels to We Are Parable for the week so look out for highlights of key figures in the Black British Film arena who have been doing exemplary work for the last 50 years. From Horace Ové to Rapman, to unsung heroes, this will provide an opportunity to thank and acknowledge pioneers who have led the way and those who continue to do great work.

Not forgetting the importance of legacy, ‘Who We Are’ marks the start of a long-term commitment by We Are Parable and the BFI to support a new generation of Black filmmakers. 16-19-year-old Black filmmakers are being encouraged to enter their 15-minute short film, with the winners having their work appear on BFI Player. More information about the competition, which is open from 9-23 July, is available online here. The winning entry will be announced on 3 August.

For more information about the week-long event, visit the We Are Parable website

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