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David Oyelowo To Headline BLACK STAR Symposium At This Year’s BFI London Film Festival

 

 

 

By Media Desk

 

 

 

Saturday, October 1, 2016.

 

 

LONDON –  The highly acclaimed Black British actor and producer David Oyelowo, will be the lead speaker at this year’s BFI London Film Festival. The event will take place this coming Thursday, October 6, at BFI Southbank, London.

 

Oyelowo will be launching the Black Star Symposium the morning after the Festival opens, with the European Premiere of Amma Asante’s eagerly-anticipated A United Kingdom, in which he stars, and he will be joined by British and international actors, filmmakers and thought-leaders to explore why opportunities for black actors to shine on screen in the US and the UK remain limited, and debate what more can be done to effect positive change.

 

David Oyelowo, who also stars in the Festival’s Virgin Atlantic Gala presentation of Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe (European Premiere), is a passionate advocate for changing the framework of opportunities for black talent and for reversing the historical lack of recognition for their achievements.

 

He said: "I'm really hopeful we're about to segue from talking about diversity to actually doing it."

 

BFI BLACK STAR

 

The festival, which is celebrating its 6oth anniversary is Britain's leading film event and one of the world's best film festivals. It introduces the finest new British and international films to an expanding London and UK-wide audience and attracts significant international film industry participation.

 

One of the festival’s main goals is the BFI BLACK STAR scheme – a  focus on the achievements of actors of African descent from the earliest years of cinema through to current icons. (see http://www.bfi.org.uk/black-star)

 

BLACK STAR is the UK’s biggest ever season of film and television dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors. The organisers say that BLACK STAR celebrates the relationship between stars and the audiences who love them, spotlighting great performances by Black actors on screen, whilst exploring why opportunities to shine on screen have been historically limited for black actors. It will also celebrate films that feature black actors in central roles, bringing their work to a new generation of UK audiences and helping to reposition them and their performances in our collective memory.

 

The BFI’s Creative Director Heather Stewart will also be unveiling the first phase of new and ground-breaking research at the Symposium about the representation of black actors in British films. The first findings focus on films released in the UK over the past ten years (2006-2016).

 

Stewart said the BFI is working towards a complete data set from the beginnings of British cinema to today, to understand what has changed both on screen and behind the camera.


"We want to make the data available – as both a tool and a mirror – for everyone who is in a position to say ‘yes’ to new creativity and new opportunities," she said. "It will help shape what funders, policy makers, producers, directors and writers think about when they are making decisions in a world where audiences hope for so much more than they are offered.”

 

 

David Oyelowo To Headline BLACK STAR Symposium At This Year’s BFI London Film Festival

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