- Warner Bros. Discovery and Media Trust launched Black Britain Unspoken earlier this year, aiming to give opportunity and voice to Black British creatives
- Three Black British filmmakers Richard Ampeh, Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson and Sheila Kayuma were selected from more than 100 applicants to tell their stories of what it means to be Black and British
- Their short films will be previewed at the Royal Television Society’s London Convention 2022 before making their streaming debut on discovery+ this October as part of Black History Month
Following the launch of the Black Britain Unspoken filmmaking initiative earlier this year, Warner Bros. Discovery and Media Trust today announced Richard Ampeh, Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson and Sheila Kayuma as the selected filmmakers whose short films, focused on what it means to be Black and British, will stream on discovery+ UK throughout Black History Month.
Black Britain Unspoken aims to give opportunity to Black filmmakers and address the critical under-representation of Black voices in the screen industries in the UK – particularly for those in key creative roles such as producers, directors and writers*.
The filmmakers were selected following an open call to the industry which saw over 100 applications to be part of the programme. Aiming to provide a full pitch-to-production experience, a shortlist of applicants pitched their short film concepts to a panel of industry professionals at Warner Bros. Discovery and Bafta-winner Joanna Boateng, Producer at Minnow Films and Concordia Studio LLC, and Film Director Leon Oldstrong.
The three short films The Nod – Tell Me You Got Me by Richard Ampeh, Too Autistic for Black by Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson and The Power of Plantain by Sheila Kayuma offer highly personal and thought-provoking accounts of what being Black and British means to each of the filmmakers.
The Nod – Tell Me You Got Me is an ode to the nod exchanged between Black males and its significance in the building of unity and brotherhood. The short documentary explores what it means and why it is important to Black males in modern-day Britain.
Too Autistic for Black is a story that explores what it’s like to be Black, British and marginalised in the autism discourse. In the short film, the filmmaker and TV presenter, Tee Cee, talks openly about her own and others’ experiences.
The Power of Plantain brings two Black British chefs together to embark on a culinary journey in the kitchen, exploring Pan-African cuisine and its redefining role in gastronomy. In the film, the cooking experts discuss their own roots, passion and The Power of Plantain.
Each of the short films will be previewed at this year’s RTS London Convention, showcasing the filmmakers and their stories to the UK television industry. In October, the films will also drop on discovery+ as part of Black History Month and be showcased at a number of screening events throughout the month.
Clare Laycock, SVP Head of Content & Planning, Warner Bros. Discovery UK, said: “We are delighted to announce the filmmakers and the films that will run on discovery+ during Black History Month as part of Black Britain Unspoken. Black Britain Unspoken is a hugely important initiative that has been spearheaded by our Multicultural Alliance working group, in partnership with Media Trust, and is part of our long-term strategic focus on ensuring diversity in our content. Richard Ampeh, Talisha ‘Tee Cee’ Johnson and Sheila Kayuma are three incredibly talented filmmakers whose unique and very personal stories will inspire our audiences throughout Black History Month and beyond.”
Su-Mei Thompson, CEO, Media Trust, said: “It was incredibly hard to choose three finalists from the very strong field of talent who applied to Black Britain Unspoken. We hope seeing their work will inspire more creatives from under-represented communities to tell their stories using the power of film. We also hope the success of Black Britain Unspoken will inspire other parts of the media and creative sectors to reflect on how they can do more to widen access to under-represented behind the camera talent thereby giving marginalised communities a stronger voice.”
Black Britain Unspoken is led by Director of Creative Services Emma Cassidy and Creative and Production Manager for Social and Digital Benjah Pozi-Quansah at Warner Bros. Discovery, and supported by Content Producer Daisy Church at Media Trust.