Tag Archives: selma

2015 A Good Year – Happy Hols/New Year From Marlon Palmer (Kush Director)

Marlon Palmer
Director
18.12.15

 

Happy-Holidays

 

Greetings and salutations (Friends, Fans, Associates & Film Lovers),

It’s December (once again, LOL!) and almost time to end this year and bring in another New Year. Well after we have stuffed our faces, drank more than we can handle and immersed ourselves with family we both love and hate – well it’s got to be done!

This year from a film standpoint of view has been good, starting off with the January release of the much-talked about Selma and then Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ in May; two films we worked on. Paramount Pictures actually hired Kush Promotions & PR to market Top Five in 7 cities of the UK and allowed us to manage the budget. To allow us to manage the budget and nationwide-wide campaign was a justification of the 17 years of hard work and determination I have put in developing this business. After May PR work kind of dried up for us as the next big urban releases were from distributors who appear to have an issue with me/Kush; LOL! It appears I have told off the Head of International Marketing at both Sony Pictures and Universal over the years and I have not been forgiven TopFivePoster_smll(daam, I only told them the truth about their poor marketing of particular urban film) well seems like i’m “Blacklisted” – so be it – I will always speak my mind and tell the truth if some don’t like it, so be it! Was upset though, that we missed out on hip-hop films Dope and Straight Outta Compton; Sony & Universal film releases respectively.

Anyway the break away from Film-Marketing/PR was a Godsend (it was needed) as it allowed me to get back fully-focussed on the wide-ranging development of Kush Media. Something I wasn’t truly able to do for two straight years from October 2013 – May 2015 as Kush Promotions & PR became the go-to Specialist Independent PR Company marketing all black films month-after-month here in the UK (shhh! The remuneration was nice though). We also got to work on films like ‘Starred Up’ starring Jack O’Connell and The Maze Runner.

The breakaway allowed me to re-assess things and from that the ‘Kush Film Boutique’ was relaunched and in all that I do (even though it can be hard work) these days; I get the most satisfaction out of seeing the joy, dismay, shock, horror and amazement on patrons faces at our screenings – the wonders of film!

PR/Marketing work paid Kush well, and I strived hard to get to that position and be paid well but during the Top Five campaign earlier this year I realised that I wasn’t enjoying the work, it wasn’t why I started Kush Promotions back in 1998 and sitting in my office managing people (especially some of the difficult people I had to manage across the UK) became all so ‘Soulless’.

I had lost the joy of what I was doing daily and to wrap this part up – I believe in life to truly be successful you have to be fulfilling your life’s purpose and embracing daily the joy of all that you offer – once you lose that joy it’s time to reassess!

Anyway it’s going to be a very exciting end to the year with the massive impending release this week of Star Wars: The Force Awakens starring local Peckham Lad John Boyega whom we star-wars-force-awakens-posthankfully had time to meet whilst managing PR/Marketing for the film “Half A Yellow Sun” last year.

Straight away from speaking to John I knew he would be a star he was so down to earth, well-spoken and assured in his manner – definitely a star in the making and I said so at the time.

I can’t wait to see how well he exudes his persona off the big screen as the character ‘Finn’ in this massive blockbuster film; I’m sure he has done a fine job otherwise we would have heard already especially with all the earlier ignorant social media commotion about a “Black Stormtrooper”.

I won’t even go into that foolishness as it will bring down the tone of my newsletter and inveigle me into talking about dumb people from another galaxy!

Congratulations to rising star John Boyega and all the other British actors in the film (Daisy Ridley), and as a Star Wars fan it’s also great to see the old stars back; Harrison Ford as Hans Solo, Mark

John Boyega

Hamill as Luke Skywalker and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia and of course Chewbacca.

As you may have guessed I’m a sci-fi nut and love all films that expand our psyche to places unknown in the big ole galaxy. Bring on Superman vs Batman, Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, Star Trek Beyond (with Idris Elba) and daam give me Black Panther now!!

Don’t forget get your tickets for ‘The Force Awakens’ this weekend! I’ve Got Mine

Wishing you all a fantastic Christmas, a blessed Kwaanza and a harmonious Eid plus a totally great New Year.

Keep Believing and doing!
Marlon Palmer

David Oyelowo: I won’t play ‘the black best friend’

Original article taken from theguardian.com
Written by Benjamin Lee
01.06.15

 

 

David_&_Jessica_Oyelowo

The Selma star says he’s turned down many roles because they are just stereotypes based on ethnicity.

Given the variety of roles played by David Oyelowo in the past year (a civil rights leader in Selma, an assistant district attorney in A Most Violent Year, a school principal in Interstellar), it’s be natural to assume that he’s open for most roles on screen.

But in a new interview, the British actor has said the one thing he won’t do is play “the black best friend”.

Speaking to NPR, also about his royal African roots; Oyelowo criticised the shoehorning of black characters into certain films and aims to avoid taking any such role.

“Don’t send me your script if you want me to play the black best friend,” he said. “I just won’t do that. You can feel when it’s literally an afterthought; you can feel when it’s like, ‘Oh quick, let’s get some colour in here.’ That I won’t do because it’s disrespectful and, for me, I’m either part of the solution or I’m part of the problem.”

The actor has previously called out the UK film industry for failing to focus on films with black protagonists set in a heroic context.

Oyelowo received a Golden Globe nomination for his part in Selma, the end to a breakout year for the actor. This year, he’s moving to TV for one-off HBO drama Nightingale, starring opposite Kate Mara in fact-based crime drama Captive, playing Nina Simone’s personal assistant in the biopic Nina and heading up indie drama Five Nights in Maine.

He is currently filming a Ugandan chess drama, Queen of Katwe, with Lupita Nyong’o and has just signed on for A United Kingdom with Rosamund Pike.

 

 

Selma Review II

Written by: Christine Eccelston-Craig
06.02.15

 

Selma_Protest
Directed by the outstanding Ava DuVernay, Selma is a sensational movie focussing on Dr Martin Luther Kings struggle in the fight for equality during the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. Filmmaker DuVernays’ main objectives in telling the story of the 1965 Civil Rights marches in Selma, Alabama is to remind the audience of a time where black people were degraded, abused and simply miss-treated based on the colour of their skin. The movie focuses on the brutal violence that black people had to endure, not to mention how many had to die in order to pave the way for future generations. While many people are aware of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s Ms DuVernay does an exceptional job as she brings to light more detailed events to ensure our knowledge of this epic movement is not clouded.

“What happens when a man stands up and says enough is enough?”

When Reverend King (played by British actor David Oyelowo), his wife Coretta Scott King (Carmen Ejogo, another British actor) and the members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) bring their activist campaign for full racial equality to the heart of the Old South in the days where there were strict segregation laws, Martin Luther King’s efforts are anything but subtle as he preaches words of Gandhi and Jesus, his non-violent approach to an equal society quite often leaves him with blood on his hands. But King was a real trooper because despite the many deaths of blacks in the south, he kept on striving! His attorney Fred (Cuba Gooding Jr), Reverend Hosea Williams (Wendell Pierce), Reverend Ralph Abernathy (Ruben Santiago- Hudsen) and their followers knew they would be faced with violent opposing campaigning thugs and perhaps might even be killed, but with the guidance of Dr King and the never ending faith in one another they persevere and continue their righteous fight for an equal and fair society.
Selma_Film_OyelowoOyelowo (Last King of Scotland, Rise of The Planet of the Apes) did an awesome job becoming Dr King and I’m not just talking about the fact that there was a slightly shocking resemblance between the two. His mannerisms and his authoritative voice filled with inspiring words really captured the heart of who Dr King was and why he had so many followers. We all know Martin Luther King was undeniably an amazing orator, so Oyelowo had a tough job incorporating that on screen, but he managed to capture it so well, as an audience you feel like you’re actually living in this harsh era, suffering under the deprivation of your Civil and Human Rights. But the light to guide you to peace and harmony is the astounding Dr King. (Yes, I got all of that just from watching David Oyelowo).

“We built the path as we came; rock by rock”

We cannot forget the film’s producer Oprah Winfrey as she plays a very believable resident of Selma, Annie Lee Cooper. I feel like this role was almost instinctive to her as she played a similar role in The Colour Purple as Sofia. Now, many of the other African- American actors tend to fall into the background whilst fading into the crowd, with the exception of Jimmy Lee Jackson (Keith Stanfield), Malcom X (Nigel Thatch) and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (Ledisi Young). Director DuVernay frequently shines her light on the righteous activists, but in a large-scale movie like this one the unjustly persecuted are never quite as interesting as the lowdown scoundrels they face. I mean, who doesn’t love a character that really brings the rage out of you? Much like Alabama Governor George Wallace (Tim Roth) who is a monster! His constant efforts to maintain segregation in his state along with his condescending sarcastic tone is seriously frustrating! However, actor Tim Roth did a pretty good job agitating the audience through his role as George Wallace. So, in a way, I guess it’s well done to him.

“You got one big issue I got 101!”

The appearance of Lyndon B. Johnson (again, played by British actor Tom Wilkinson), gives a certain political dimension. He almost puts the line between the political realism and the fight to make the idealistic view of equality a reality. He often speaks about how he has several issues to deal with as a president, so the passing of more Civil Rights legislation is a minor issue and can be put off for a couple years. In simpler terms, he was an idiot. But without going too much into the history itself let’s get back to this movie. I want to quickly note that as the movie rolls on you can literally notice how many American characters are actually played by British actors (Oyelowo, Ejogo, Roth and Wilkinson). In addition, the entire lighting for this film was quite dark, not misty or foggy, just dark, as if it were representing the intensity of the struggle, or they were just trying to make it look a little more old fashioned. Either way, the lighting gave you a sense of sorrow and even despair. Your emotions are guaranteed to run high once you watch this movie, tears of sadness, anger and happiness, all rolled up into one. You must not miss out on this movie. As I conclude this review I’d like to leave you with this…

Selma_LBJ

“Those that have gone before us say no more, we’ve come too far to turn back now!”
We can still make a change!

 

 

Marlon Palmer
Director

Thanks Christine we feel proud to have our young people embrace important moments in history and espouse their thoughts and feelings to the wider community – it is for all black people to know and appreciate what has gone before so people of an African descent today can be afforded the opportunities they now have!

 

 

 

 

David Oyelewo Undoubted Shining Star

By Leslie Byron Pitt
Written: 04.03.15

 

David-Oyelowo_Selma

In the last five years, the likes of Idris Elba (Thor), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle), John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) have called attention to the wealth of black British actors making strong waves within the Hollywood system. 2014 helped continue the trend, with films such as Interstellar, A Most Violent Year and Selma highlighting the remarkable talents of David Oyelowo.

Oyelowo was born in Oxford, 1976 to Nigerian parents who both worked within the transport sector. At age 6, Oyelowo relocated to Nigeria and during his time there; Oyelowo discovered that his family was of royal lineage. He returned to England seven years later. Quoted in his BBC bio for Spy drama Spooks, it was during his Theatre Studies A-levels at City and Islington College, in which Oyelowo was inspired by a teacher to continue his dramatic pursuits.

David Oyelowo started his stage career in 1999 with the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in roles for plays such as Oroonoko and Volpone. His performance as Henry VI in 2001 had him awarded with Ian Charleson Award for Best Newcomer in a Classic Play. This landmark of colour blind casting, caused controversy in some media circles. In the book The Henry VI plays (by Stuart Hampton-Reeves and Carol Chillington Rutte), Oyelowo states on remembering a Daily Telegraph article which complained such casting “opens us to ridicule”. A Mail on Sunday Piece remarks: “I’m not sure you could have a black actor playing a monarch with such a familiar face, but with Henry VI it’s fine because your average theatre goer starts with a pretty blank slate.” A hilarious remark considering the west’s history of white washing minority characters (Laurence Olivier in Othello anyone?).

It is this role of Henry, however, that not only convinced his father that David had found correct career choice, such criticisms unsurprisingly foreshadow and consolidates Oyelowo’s feelings of strong roles for black British talent. The press interviews for Selma have highlighted Oyelowo’s forthright opinions on how race in the arts is viewed. That Oyelowo made his mark with this portrayal, only highlights his considerable talents further.

David Oyelowo became more of a household name due to his stint as doomed case officer; Danny in the BBC’s praised espionage series, Spooks (2002 – 2011). Playing alongside the likes of Matthew Oyelowo_SpooksMacfadyen and Keeley Hawes, Oyelowo spent two years on the highly popular show before bowing out to pursue other projects. Oyelowo found himself in leading roles such as Matt Wellings, in the critically acclaimed drama Five Days, in which he won the 2007 award for Winner of Best Actor in a Mini Series or Motion Picture for Television, Golden Satellite Awards. In 2008 he was cast alongside British actors Colin Salmon and Idris Elba in the Anthony Minghella directed pilot of The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. The Botswanan set show, while award winning and enjoyed, unfortunately, never obtained a second series.

Oyelowo also starred in the 2009 television mini-series Small Island. An adaptation of Andrea Levy’s novel, which focuses on the diaspora of Jamaican immigrants during and after World War II. Oyelowo was nominated for Best Actor at the BAFTA television awards in 2010, for his portrayal of the unlucky but noble Gilbert Joseph.

Despite finding minor cinematic roles in the likes of Derailed (2005) and The Last King of Scotland (2006), it was 2011 which marked out new and exciting territory for the young actor. Oyelowo was cast as the selfish antagonist, Steven Jacobs in the surprise blockbuster hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Often recognised as more noble characters, the role of Jacobs allowed Oyelowo to not only star in one of the biggest hits of the summer, but also allowed him to expand his range in a much pulpier type of cinematic feature.

2011 also saw Oyelowo take a small role as Preacher Green, in the successful civil rights drama, The Help. In Red Tails, the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, Oywlowo was allowed to broaden his range further with the “physically demanding” role of 1st Lt. Joe “Lightning” Little. In an article for blackflix, Oyelowo was quick to not only comment on how proud he was being able to take a role that belongs in the history books due to the Airmen’s role in desegregation of the American Armed Forces. Oyelowo also noted on the shortage of opportunities of an all-black leading cast, being able to star in a movie, which didn’t feel like a niche feature, solely aimed at the African American audience. Hollywood mogul George Lucas financed and produced the film himself after gaining no support from the Hollywood studio system, but in the end the film didn’t set the international box office alight, however, Red Tails helped reinforce Oyelowo’s board range of talent to Hollywood.

It was in 2012 in which Oyelowo, first worked with Selma director Ava DuVernay, in the Independent drama, Middle of Nowhere. Gaining strong reviews and positive recognition at the Sundance Selma_Ava_OyelowoFestival, the film was a chance for DuVernay to work with an actor she had long been a fan of. Oyelowo’s role in Middle of Nowhere found itself sandwiched in-between releases of Lee Daniels’ Southern Gothic tale The Paperboy and Steven Spielberg’s historical biopic Lincoln. Oyelowo’s small yet poignant role in Lincoln, as Ira Clark perhaps has one of the most resonant moments of the film. In his most touching scene, the young Clark is reciting one of Lincoln’s most famous addresses, to help highlight his knowledge and admiration of the man. The scene itself is one of the film’s strongest moments.

His role as Louis Gaines in 2013’s The Butler gained Oyelowo even more recognition (NAAC image award for best supporting actor in a Motion picture), however, it was 2014 that has proved to be the one of the highest peaks of David Oyelowo’s career. The actor found him starring in a small but droll role as an ignorant school principle in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar as well as a cagey and corrupt DA in the subtly engaging A Most Violent year. Of course the crowning achievement is Oyelowo’s complex and rousing portrayal of Dr Martin Luther King in Selma. Despite his Golden Globe nomination, many found his lack of nominations to be a snub.

However Oyelowo’s cool, calm demeanour when approaching his role of King in interviews, as well as his upfront and intelligent engagement about race and talent range of black British actors, show that his words alone may provide more inspiration for young black actors, than an award. For Oyelewo we believe…. the sky’s the limit.

Glory wins Best Original Song at the Oscars

Written by Marlon Palmer
24.02.15
JohnLegend&Common

Congratulations to soul artiste John Legend and rapper/actor Common for their win at the 2015 Academy Awards for “Best Original Song” with their stirring original song “Glory” from the film Selma.

The duo performed the song live on stage surrounded by a fantastic backdrop of people quietly marching reminiscent of the original Selma march amid poignant scenes from the film that reminded us all that African-Americans today are still fighting for “Equal Rights in Justice” and reminded those watching of the great works carried out by Dr. Martin Luther King and the rest of the great civil rights activists who also dedicated their lives to making a difference and gaining equal rights for their fellow man.

David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jr. in the film, was brought to tears following the performance along with other celebrities like Chris Pine who also seemed to be in tears, Oprah appeared to be having heart palpitations.

Common stated “we wrote this song for a film that was based on events that were 50 years ago, but we say that Selma is now because the struggle for justice is right now,” Legend said in his acceptance speech. “We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850. When people are marching with our song, we want to tell you, ‘We are with you. We see you. We love you. And march on.'”

Common noted that the duo recently performed “Glory” on Selma, Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge, the structure that became a civil rights focal point after armed policemen attacked civil rights protesters in 1965. “This bridge was once a landmark of a divided nation, but now is a symbol for change,” Common said. “The spirit of this bridge transcends race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and social status.”

Watch the stirring performance and listen to their inspiring acceptance speech.

Acceptance speech:

2015 Early Releases Box Office Report

Written by Graeme Wood
17.02.15

 

box-office-image 

Although the critical acclaim for Selma is still making headlines its box office power seems to be slowing down somewhat, falling from the US Top 10 which is currently being topped by Fifty Shades of Grey, Kingsman; Secret Service and the Spongebob Movie. Paramount should be pleased with ‘Selma’s overall performance through its total US gross standing at $48,494,000 since its opening in December. The film has also performed well in the UK, now entering its third week of release, with a gross of £1,763,050, an initial £70,000 of this coming from its early preview screenings.

In comparison to the years other Oscar nominated movies Selma is behind American Sniper and The Theory of Everything but ahead of Whiplash (grossing £573,000). This time last year, 12 Years A Slave in comparison debuted with £2.51m but 12 Years had a Bafta nomination and huge marketing campaign behind it.

Meanwhile back in the states, Black or White the Kevin Costner, Viola Davis drama has made a strong entrance at No 10 with a US Box Office total so far of $20,090,000, just ahead of that at No.9 sits the Kevin Hart comedy ‘The Wedding Ringer’ with a total of $60,043,000.

The UK box-office for early February was led by Disney’s Big Hero 6, Kingsman and the Shaun the Sheep Movie but Fifty Shades of Grey, launched over Valentine’s Weekend opened to big business taking in £4.6 million on its opening night and $94.4m on its US debut. Impressive figures that distributor Universal Pictures is bound to be pleased with.

The Theory of Everything continues to do well at the UK box office, no doubt helped by its BAFTA nominations and award wins, with a current box office total of £18,944,146 and seven weeks after opening still playing on a lot of multiplexes. In comparison though the critically panned and predictable Liam Neeson thriller ‘Taken 3’ has also managed to bring in huge numbers with a box office total of £17,180,518, after only 6 weeks on release.

In the US Chris Rock’s ‘Top Five’ has performed well giving its distributor Paramount who bid for the rights a gross of $25,317,291 following its opening in December 2014, though for comparison Kevin Harts The Wedding Ringer which opened mid-January in the US has so far pulled in a gross of $59,743,000 the film opens in the UK this week, Top Five will be on UK screens sometime in May (a film Kush Promotions should be marketing).

Comedies aimed specifically at the African / American market continue to perform well at the US box office and account for about 13% of the US domestic film market. December alone had seven African-American films ranking among the Top 100 films and grossing nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in the domestic market.

So what else should we be looking forward to at the cinema over the next month or so? Well first up we have Michael Mann’s Blackhat action thriller, starring Chris (Thor) Hemsworth and Viola Davis. Set amongst a global back drop the plot involves a blackmail scheme to hack and blow up nuclear plants. This should prove entertaining if predictable fare for audiences and in the US the film under performed scoring only $7,89,395 at the box office.

View the trailer: Blackhat

The EE BAFTA’S – Winners Round-Up & Usual Diversity Issues!

Written By Graeme Wood
09.02.15

 

BAFTA_Winners

Champagne and back slapping at the ready, it’s another year and another awards ceremony! This years BAFTA film awards held no surprises for anyone who had even a cursory glance through the nominations or looked at award winners so far this year. While there was some worthy winners amongst the technical nominees the big awards could all have been safely predicted ahead of the ceremony.

JK Simmons was a shoe-in for Best Supporting Actor following his mesmerising and powerful performance in Whiplash, as was the critically acclaimed Eddie Redmayne picking up ‘Best Actor’, BAFT_JK-Simmonsfor his touching portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Julianne Moore picked up ‘Best Actress’ but has already received several nominations and prizes for her role in the yet to be seen in the UK movie Still Alice and similarly Patricia Arquette, picking up ‘Best Supporting Actress’, has received several nominations and awards for her turn in Boyhood.

The clear winners of the evening were Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, winning Best Director and Best Film, and James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, picking up ‘Outstanding British Film’ and Adapted Screenplay. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel were left running just behind with Birdman’s Emmanuel Lubezki picking up the much deserved Cinematography BAFTA. While Wes Anderson’s quirky The Grand Budapest Hotel picked up awards for ‘Costume Design, Make-Up, Music, Production and Best Screenplay’. Damian Chazelle’s Whiplash deservedly picked up the awards for its Editing and Sound the two combined in the film to provide a mesmerising back-drop to JK Simmons and Miles Teller’s powerful performances.

The popular Pride was granted some recognition and picked up the award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. The EE ‘Rising Star’ Award had strong competition but the public vote went to ‘71s charismatic Jack O’Connell a choice which also seemed popular with the BAFTA audience.
BAFTA_JOConnell&McAvoy

Surprisingly The Imitation Game which has already had many awards and nominations elsewhere failed to pick up anything despite being nominated in several categories. Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’ which failed to light up the box office or critics also missed out on any of the big nominations.

The biggest disappointment from the awards however surely came from the nominations themselves and the films that failed to pick up even a cursory nod from the judging panel. It truly astounds that critically acclaimed and popular films such as Amma Asante’s ‘Belle’ failed to receive a nomination, even for its outstanding costume design, or that the powerful and relevant ‘Selma’ failed to be recognised by the panel. Surely when you have a British talent like David Oyelowo giving a strong performance that is critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic it deserves to be recognised? There is also a strong argument that Timothy Spall’s outstanding performance in Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner deserved a place in the Best Actor category.

All eyes are now on the 87th Academy Awards which take place on the 22nd of February, will Boyhood continue its run of wins as Best Picture or will the inclusion of Selma see an Academy turnaround? Can Richard Linklater nab the Best Director Oscar or will Wes Anderson see recognition for The Grand Budapest Hotel. David Oyelowo is missing again from the Best Actor nominations so we might see Eddie Redmayne continue his winning streak although the inclusion of Bradley Cooper and American Sniper’s strong box-office performance may be a surprise winner. Julianne MooreBAFTA_JulianneMoore seems likely at this point to walk away with Best Actress and I’d be very surprised, and a little disappointed, if JK Simmons doesn’t come away with Best Supporting Actor. Patricia Arquette seems likely to continue her winning streak as Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood, though Emma Stone is also a hot contender for her performance in Birdman. While the wonderful Lego Movie managed to pick up Best Animated Feature at this year’s BAFTA it’s bizarrely been missed out of the Oscar nominations so don’t be surprised if Big Hero 6 walks away as this year’s winner.

John Stephen’s and Lonnie Lynn’s ‘Glory’ from Selma has been nominated and is expected to win this year’s ‘Best Song’ Oscar but wouldn’t it be fun if ‘Everything is Awesome’ from the Lego Movie won instead?

It all depends of course on how much relevance you place on the nominations, awards and industry panels against your own preferences and views. Away from the plaudits, box office and competition a bigger issue lay in the representation of our culture and the industry itself. Looking at the BAFTA audience, nominees and winners all many viewers could see were row after row of Caucasian faces and surely this can not be an accurate representation of the diverse body of filmmakers or challenging films that have been produced throughout the last year.

Not so long ago the nominees and audience were full of fresh new hopefuls like Adam Deacon, Noel Clarke, Chiwetel Ejifor, Sophie Okonedo, David Harewood, Idris Elba and some of these have adam_deaconsubsequently found more prominent opportunities and work abroad rather than in the UK. The broadsheets have been quick to point out the lack of diversity from the BAFTA ceremony, particularly Chris Bryant in his column for the Independent. New initiatives (especially from the BFI & TV sector) have become meaningless, which are not worth their weight in hope.

So the debate meanwhile continues but none the less as we have seen over the years there is no significant change. However, it is evident that more work and career opportunities leading to prestige international exposure for minority film industry personnel would certainly bring a higher diversified profile to the UK film industry and so the question must be asked of BAFTA why no recognition for films like; Selma, Belle, Honeytrap, Second Coming and the many other diverse cinema offerings produced from a home-grown pool of black, Asian and minority ethnic talent. A recent Taking Part survey concluded that black and minority ethnic participation in the arts lags nearly 10 per cent behind white participation. It’s a disturbing under-representation for a community that consists of 12 per cent of the total population.

If this year’s BAFTA’s failed to totally represent the cinema audience or the UK talent pool it did however signal a growing strength and confidence in British film making which can only be for the good of the industry as whole (we hope?).

Read Chris Bryant MP Independent Newspaper article here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/baftas-2015-britain-is-diverse-so-why-is-our-tv-and-film-so-overwhelmingly-white-10034762.html

SELMA Out Today: Here is where You Can BOOK YOUR TICKETS

Selma_Banner_Trailer

Find your cinema and book your tickets here:
http://www.findanyfilm.com/Selma~61985

In spring of 1965, a series of dramatic events changed the course of America and the modern concept of civil rights forever — as courageous marchers, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., attempted three times to carry out a peaceful procession from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama on a quest for the basic human right to vote.   The shocking confrontations, the triumphant final march and the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that followed are now an indelible part of history. But the vitally relevant, vitally human story of Selma – from the political battles in the halls of power to the grit and faith of people on the street to the private, inner struggles Dr. King faced – has never been seen on the movie screen until now.

Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tom Wilkinson, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Wendell Pierce, Tessa Thompson & Cuba Gooding Jnr.

Distributor: Pathe UK
Urban Marketing by Kush Promotions & PR

www.facebook.com/SelmaFilmUK

#MarchOn
#SelmaFilmUK

‘Intense, engaging, inspiring… Oyelowo gives one of the greatest performances you’ll ever see’ (Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter)

‘Oyelowo is magnificent… one of the best films of the year’ (Rolling Stone)

‘A scorching, full-bodied, flat-out great film… Oyelowo is electrifying as Martin Luther King… Tremendous’ (5 stars, Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph)

‘A triumph… Oyelowo’s performance as Martin Luther King is stunning’ (Baz Bamigboye, Daily Mail)

‘An astoundingly powerful piece of film-making… David Oyelowo is phenomenal as Martin Luther King. A film everyone should see’ (James Williams, Glamour)

‘Incredibly powerful… a deeply affecting inspirational movie’ (4 stars, Chris Hewitt, Empire)

Selma: Enjoy These Exclusive Clips

 

 

As of this coming Friday 6th February the whole UK will get the opportunity to experience the power, grace and history defining imagery of the new film Selma.

Selma re-tells the true story of Dr Martin Luther King Jnr, and members of his civil rights non-violence team who to make a final stand against racist Jim Crow political obstructions stopping black people in various southern cities from voting, decide to lead a history-making march from the town of Selma to the capital city of Montgomery, fully aware that day may be the last day they see on earth.

Enjoy these exclusive clips and make sure to take friends and family to go see it next weekend.