The first ever S.O.U.L. Fest celebrating the best of British Black filmmakers launches at the BFI this August.
Taking place over two days, this new and exciting festival will provide audiences the opportunity to see a diverse representation of Black Britain via a collection of features and short films. Emerging from the traditionally invite only event S.O.U.L. Celebrate Connect, S.O.U.L. Fest will be open to the general public.
Four feature films by British Black talent in front of and behind the camera will be shown at S.O.U.L. Fest.
The two-day film festival will open with an exclusive preview screening of the critically acclaimed “Farming“, directed and written by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who also stars.
“Farming” (which recently triumphed at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, with lead actor Damson Idris winning Best Performance in a British feature) tells the story of Enitan, a young Nigerian boy, whose parents give him to a white working-class family in Tilbury. Confused and searching for identity, Enitan joins a white skinhead gang with devastating consequences. (Farming was the term used during the 60s and 70s to describe West African immigrant parents sending their children to live with working-class white families in the UK for a potentially better life.)
Another highly anticipated feature included in S.O.U.L. Fest is Shola Amoo’s sophomore film “The Last Tree“. Femi is a young boy of Nigerian British descent being raised in idyllic Yorkshire. When his birth mother brings him back to London Femi’s life is drastically turned upside down. With wonderful, standout performances from Sam Adewumni and Gbemisola Ikumelo, this is sure to be a hit with audiences.
Julius Amedume adapts Graham Farrow’s stage play “Rattlesnakes” for S.O.U.L. Fest’s third feature. In this award-winning film, Jimmy Jean-Louis plays Robert, a therapist with an exclusive clientele that may have put him and his family in danger.
Finally, Veronica Mckenzie presents “Nine Nights“. Athletic teen Marcie Haines and twin brother Michael share an unconditional bond, leaving mother Leonore feeling excluded from their intimate world. When tragedy strikes, the observation of the Caribbean mourning ritual ‘Nine Nights‘ takes the family on a journey of grief and resolution.
In addition, S.O.U.L. Fest will host a special Symposium that will bring together a group of leading thinkers from Britain’s diverse content creators to consider the role and responsibility of filmmakers with regards to the representation of diversity on screen. The Symposium will also feature a presentation of some of the best short films by emerging talent, exploring an eclectic range of tales touching on the Black British experience.
S.O.U.L. Fest is a collaboration between four British Black organisations dedicated to serving Black audiences and talent –The British Blacklist, The New Black Film Collective, We Are Parable and S.O.U.L. Film.
“Since the inception of S.O.U.L. In 2014 we have dreamed of the opportunity to share the wealth of talent and the potent storytelling we have been fortunate enough to be exposed to with wider audiences. With the support of our amazing partners finally the dream, S.O.U.L. Fest is real!” Iyare Igiehon and Nuru Rimington Mkali, S.O.U.L Celebrate Connect
“TNBFC is proud to be part of the driving force behind S.O.U.L Fest because it stands for the acceptance and the empowerment of Black British voices. We are here to remove barriers and instead provide a safe space to tell our stories authentically.” – Priscilla Igwe, The New Black Film Collective
“I remember discussing the potential of creating a British Black film festival in the UK with Iyare and here we are 5 years later with our first event. It is my honour and pleasure to be a part of such an important moment in British film history.” – Akua Gyamfi, The British Blacklist
“We’re honoured to be a part of the S.O.U.L festival, as it gives emerging filmmakers a platform to screen their work to new audiences. Iyare and Nuru’s passion and dedication to producing this festival made it a no-brainer for us to get involved.” – Anthony and Teanne Andrews, We Are Parable
Tickets for the S.O.U.L Fest are available now via the BFI website.