The UK’s largest festival for young, emerging filmmakers, the BFI Future Film Festival 2023 returns.

From 16 – 19 February, live and in person at BFI Southbank BFI Future Film Festival will simultaneously offer a wide-ranging online programme accessible to worldwide audiences, kindly supported by Principal Partner Warner Bros. Discovery and Main Sponsor Netflix.

This year’s BFI Future Film Festival will include four days of masterclasses, workshops, screenings, and networking opportunities, with events programmed across three strands: Storytelling, Business of Film and Career Ladder. With a host of industry experts and screen creatives leading the sessions, both online and in-person, the BFI Future Film Festival is the best way for filmmakers aged 16 to 25, across the UK and beyond, to break into the screen industries. The full industry programme was announced on 25th January.

The British Blacklist has had a chat with some of the Filmmakers whose work will be featured during the festival …

TBB Talks To … Kemi Anna Adeeko Creator Of As Above

Kemi Anna is a filmmaker, writer and content producer committed to creating visuals that share diverse experiences. She began her creative career as a photographer and studied advertising which has informed her ability to create wholesome concepts. Her strengths lie in storytelling in different mediums whether big-screen films or small-screen social campaigns. She has recently screened her debut short film in collaboration with Converse and John Boyega as part of the Create Next Film project, produced by Bounce Cinema. Featured on platforms such as Vogue, Complex, GUAP and No Signal.

“As Above was an opportunity for me to share wholesome examples of authentic black love. I wanted to create something that made me and everyone else who watches it feel good, and a sense of belonging.

Read Kemi’s interview here

TBB Talks To … Ade Femzo creator of Drop Out

Ade Femzo is an award-winning actor and director. Working with artists like John Boyega and brands such as Converse, Dr Martens and Timberlands.

“The project was a part of the Create Next Campaign with Converse x John Boyega. My team was amazing, and having the support from Bounce Cinema, Converse, John Boyega and ACP Network really made the making of this short film an amazing experience.”

Read Ade’s interview here.

TBB Talks To … Hallie Primus creator of Long Live Somaliland

Hallie Primus is a 22-year-old multidisciplinary artist based in London currently experimenting with different mediums, and amplifying stories and voices.

“The most memorable moment for me was when we first got the idea to just film a documentary. It was so impromptu, we were already in my workplace’s studio, with cameras set up and ready to go, so we did it. I also remember pulling off a few 24hr days to get the edit done in time for our first previews.”

Read Hallie’s interview here.

TBB Talks To … Nathan Addai Creator of Mental Roots

A 1st class BA Animation graduate from the University of Derby, Nathan Addai is an animator, poet/rapper, podcaster and budding director. He is passionate about using artistic expression in representing the marginalised, by addressing topics like faith/spirituality, ethnicity and identity. Nathan has won various awards and commissions for his animated work. This includes a commission by the BBC and Rural Media’s New Creatives scheme, to create the Mental Roots short film. Through the creation of this animated short, Nathan founded Mental Roots as a creative multimedia business. Through this brand, Nathan is creating more animations, podcast content and organisation partnerships to continue tackling root issues behind mental health in black communities.

Growing up, I have seen both in my peer circles and in the media the all-too-common trope of black boys and men being misguided, misunderstood and struggling. I have always been grateful that in many ways, my life story doesn’t fit what seems to be the ‘typical black male experience’ – lack of a father figure in the home, peer pressure from gangs, exposure to crime, etc. Because I’ve had many positive role models and maximised the opportunities given to me, I want to empower other young black men – and women – to beat these odds and do the same.”

Read Nathan’s interview here.

TBB Talks To … Khalidah McLarty Creator of Please Clap

Khalidah McLarty is a 2D animator and director. Although they have made multiple films with varying tones, their most recent films are character driven and contain bold colours and comical elements.

“I love the scene where Mikey is talking about how he became a clown and the camera zooms in on a picture of him as a baby. It’s just very silly and encapsulates the funnier aspects of the film. Even though I made it at an emotionally turbulent point in my life and the tone does get a bit serious towards the end, it is nice to have the film be so unserious at points. At the end of the day, Mikey is just a weird guy trying to make his way in the world and that manifests in many different ways.”

Read Khalidah’s interview here

TBB Talks To … Aleah Scott Creator of Safe

Aleah is a Director, Writer and Producer from North West London. She looks at the world through an empathetic lens and has an appreciation for truth and vulnerability. She often takes a documentary-style approach in her work and draws inspiration from the human experience.

“I did all initial chats with women who wanted to share their experiences via Zoom calls – I had scheduled 23 across a few days. I had finished the first day of back-to-back calls and was just like ‘wow’ – completely saddened at the magnitude of the situation, but it just clarified how much this film needed to be made.”

Read Aleah’s interview here.

TBB Talks To … Zinha creator of If Her World Ends

Zinha is a native New Yorker living in London. After encountering documentaries through her undergraduate studies in anthropology, she has embarked on a career as a director who films stories surrounding race, reproduction, and apocalypse via nonfiction and fiction narratives. An activist, scholar, and filmmaker, Zinha recently directed Mama, Mama I’m Through, a 20-minute documentary about Black women, the Black Lives Matter movement, and their potential motherhood (2022; Rhode Island Film Festival, Tallgrass Film Festival; and Barnes Film Festival); she was selected as a youth juror for the 2022 Sheffield DocFest; and named a 2022 AR Talent artist for Sheffield DocFest and a Future of Film grantee. In her spare time, Zinha has been trained as a doula since the age of 20 and has assisted five incredible mothers (and counting!) through their pregnancies and births.

If Her World Ends is a love letter to the Black women in my life saying ‘I see you and honour your strength to love, heal, and create kinship, even when it feels like the world is working against you by trying to erase us from the narrative.’ In a moment that felt isolating for so many of my friends, and one when I felt far away from them as I now work and live in London, this film was my act of care— call it a creative hug. And I would say that it is also an offering to the fact, the true history, that our grandmothers and aunties held such immense knowledge of healing and caring. I believe we can refind that in ourselves and learn from them how to survive, even during challenging times.”

Read Zinha’s interview here.


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