Film London has launched The New Black a funding and training programme to increase opportunities for African and African-Caribbean film exhibitors in London.
At the launch eventAdrian Wootton, Film London's CEO, Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney and Stoke Newington, and Kanya King MBE, founder and CEO, MOBO, revealed details of the two year initiative.
Film London, along with the UK Film Council and Skillset, is investing in African and African-Caribbean film as part of a strategy to ensure films reflect the rich diversity of London's society.
The New Black will provide African and African-Caribbean film exhibitors with financial support to market and publicise their events, enabling them to grow and develop their audiences.
Noel Clarke, writer, director and star of Adulthood spoke in support of The New Black scheme: 'The success of both Kidulthood and Adulthood proves UK audiences want to see films by film-makers from different backgrounds and, until now, this has generally been an untapped market. We have a wealth of film talent in the UK, and I am more than happy to support a scheme which will help increase black representation in London cinemas.' Clarke said.
New Black will support different forms of film exhibition, whether through a film festival, arts centre or independent cinema. The training element of the fund will provide a programme of seminars and business development training for those currently working to exhibit African and African-Caribbean film.
Following a competitive process four events will each receive awards ranging from $19,000 - $37,000 (£10,000-£20,000). The successful events are: BFM International Film Festival; Africa at the Pictures' London African Film festival; Images of Black Women Film Festival; and Screen Nation Film & TV Awards
In addition, financial support exists for more locally-focused events. The remainder of the fund - $186,000 (£100,000) - will be distributed via a competitive application process over the next 12 months.