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SCREEN NATION Re warding E xcellence – C e l e br at i n g D i v e r s i t y

awards nominations


black mEn British Film and Television

I n f or m : K no w : DI s c u s s : m I r r or : u n w I n D : I n s p I r e

s c r e e n n AT Ion AwA r D s 2 0 1 1 : c on T e n T s . . . . Credits and Acknowledgements ........................................................................ page 6 Screen Nation CEO, Charles Thompson MBE ............................................ page 7 Mayor of London ...................................................................................................... page 9 Screen Nation Executive Director, Josie d’Arby ........................................ page 11 A Note from the Editor, Sophia A. Jackson ................................................. page 13 Screen Nation Awards 2011: Brochure contributors .............................. page 15 An interview with Josie d’Arby ...................................................................... page 16 - 17 Screen Nation Music recommendations ....................................................... page 18 An interview with Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood ................... page 19



OUTSTANDiNg CONTriBUTiON – Clarke Peters .................................... EDriC CONNOr iNSPirATiON – Sir Trevor McDonald ......................... CLASSiC FiLM (UK) – Burning An illusion ................................................. CLASSiC TV (UK) – The real McCoy ............................................................. VANgUArD iN STUNTWOrK – Amanda Foster .......................................


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MALE PErFOrMANCE iN FiLM ...................................................................... FEMALE PErFOrMANCE iN FiLM ................................................................ MALE PErFOrMANCE iN TV ........................................................................... FEMALE PErFOrMANCE iN TV Sponsored by Pride Magazine ............................... FAVOUriTE MALE TV STAr ............................................................................... FAVOUriTE FEMALE TV STAr ......................................................................... EMErgiNg TALENT .............................................................................................. YOUNg SHOOTiNg STAr (16 - 23) .............................................................. COMEDY PErFOrMEr ........................................................................................
































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s c r e e n n AT Ion AwA r D s 2 0 1 1 : c on T e n T s . . . . SCREEN CRAFT ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

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DiVErSiTY iN FACTUAL PrODUCTiON Sponsored by the BBC ......................... DiVErSiTY iN DrAMA PrODUCTiON Sponsored by the BBC ............................ FAVOUriTE UrBAN MOViE Sponsored by Flavour Magazine ..................................... FAVOUriTE MUSiC ViDEO PErFOrMANCE Sponsored by Flavour Magazine .... iNDEPENDENT SPiriT FiLM PrODUCTiON ............................................. BME CHANNEL ....................................................................................................... CiNEMA DirECTOr ...............................................................................................



FAVOUriTE iNTErNATiONAL FiLM (US) ..................................................... FAVOUriTE MALE SCrEEN PErSONALiTY (US FiLM/TV) .................. FAVOUriTE FEMALE SCrEEN PErSONALiTY (US FiLM/TV) ............ FAVOUriTE WEST AFriCAN MOViE ............................................................... FAVOUriTE WEST AFriCAN ACTOr .............................................................. FAVOUriTE WEST AFriCAN ACTrESS .........................................................

SCREEN NATION LIFESTYLE inform: inform: inform: Know: Know: Know: Know: Know: Know: inspire: inspire: Discuss: Discuss: Unwind: Unwind: inspire: page



































Movie Vortex ............................................................................................. page 70 Meet The Adebanjos ............................................................................ page 71 Diary of a Screen Nation Winner – Nonso Anozie ................... page 72 My Career – Tanneka Campbell, iTN Floor Manager ............. page 75 The rise and rise of Tyler Perry ..................................................... page 76 The Story of Lover’s rock .................................................................. page 77 Chess and The Screen ......................................................................... page 80 How to support Black Film ................................................................ page 81 Boyz N The Hood: 20th Anniversary Special ............................ page 84 interview with Charles Thompson MBE .............................. pages 86 - 87 Anuvahood ................................................................................................ page 88 Black TV Writers – an endangered species? .............................. page 89 Screen Nation Awards – Who Cares? ............................................ page 90 Me, Me, Me – Film maker Wayne g Campbell ......................... page 93 Veranda restaurant, Cocktail Bar and Art gallery .................. page 94 Screen Legacies – Lena Horne, Cy grant and Alaina Hall .. page 96 page


tHanK YoU... Adam Deacon Adrew Osayemi Afropulp Akua gyamfi Alexander Amosu Alfred Soroh Alicia Smikle-Little Amoy Chung Anjela Lauren Smith Annette Anthony Binns Arnold Oceng Aubrey Owusu Bill Dew Blaak Blessing Jackson-Udoekpo BUFF Candice Watson Cathy Hassan Charlene White Charley Jai Chef Collin Brown Cheryl Oteng Cheryl Phillips Christine Addy Colourful radio David Somerset Dean rickkets DJ Abrantee DJ Vegas Donna Johnson

Don Omope EC Forde Eddie Nestor Fashions Finest Flavour Magazine Funmi Odegbami georgina Bobb grace Shannan Henry Bonsu indigO2 ivy Kodjovi James Brathwaite CBE Jessica Huie Juanita rosenior Judith Jacob Kareen Thomas Kate rowland Leigh Odimah Leo Herbert Leonard guy Lorna Cole Lynn Mann Madonna Momoh Mellisa Obosi Michael Osafo Michael Owusu Michelle Owusu New Africa Woman Ninarita Williams Nominations Party Team Obi Emelonye

OHTV Omotola Jalade Ekeinde Pride Magazine Proud to be African rickie Davies rodey Borde-Kuofe roy Thomas russell Evans Sade Salami Sadiki Harris Sam Blankson Shawn Edwards Shelia Nortley Sherece rainford Simoe Craig Sky Andrew Sola Oyebade Sonia Meggie Sophia Jackson Sue Caro Sylviane rano Tad Balogun The Voice Newspaper Tobi Balogun Tonya Hepburn Tony Warner Vashti Vox Africa Weike Ezeigwe Wil Johnson Yvonne Phillip

...and all the kind and generous souls who helped along the way, too many to mention, we thank you x

screen nation


CEo Charles thompson mBE

it’s 2011, and after taking an unplanned enforced break to recover from the bruising that some of my Bankster friends inflicted on Screen Nation a few years ago, i’m more than happy to say that we are back! But just as we are back, i’m gone, as this will sadly be the last Awards with myself at the helm. Now wipe that tear from your eye (or is it a sigh of relief that i hear) as i’m not going away completely, just changing direction for a bit, so ‘i’ll be back’ as my friend Arnie says. As i depart, it is with the utmost pride that i welcome the very talented Josie d’Arby into the Executive office as the new Event Director of the Awards. i have nothing else to add other than that there is no one else that i would feel safer leaving things to than one of the most deeply honest, beautiful and intelligent souls that i know. Screen Nation is in safe hands. And it’s those same safe hands that have helped guide the creation of this night of celebration you take part in, and in time and with more support from everyone around her i know for certain she will take the Screen Nation Awards to the next level. it is with the incredible and incalculable support of all our wonderful sponsors, partners, supporters, staff and volunteers that she embarks on this new journey, and we together thank them all for their belief in Josie’s vision. That’s it from me; its been a pleasure serving you – and thank you, Your Majesty, for sending me on my way with a first class ticket home. Enjoy the night.

Chief Charles Cheata Koblah Thompson MBE

SCREEN NATION SALUTES CHARLES THOMPSON, MBE SOPHIA JACKSON ASKS, WHAT MAKES CHARLES THOMPSON A MAgNIFICENT BLACK MAN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY… Charles Thompson, MBE is a magnificent black man in British film and television because he’s resilient with a passion for giving those within his community the opportunity to raise their game. Whatever your opinion, Charles is a man of action, and Screen Nation is the realisation of a beautiful dream for us all. …Juanita Rosenior, Afrobase Charles Thompson is a godsend. i’m fortunate to have started out in media under the tutelage of Charles almost a decade ago now. i was there when Screen Nation was in its infancy and i’m privileged to still be a part of it all albeit as a supporter of this year’s event where another of my mentors (Menelik Shabazz) will be rightly honoured also. i have a lot of time for Charles who in turn has shown a lot of time for me and for so many people in the film industry who would’ve taken great pride in hearing of his award of an MBE earlier this year. May you enjoy good health and continued success in everything you pursue. …Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe, British Urban Film Festival please note: this logo is intended for general use, for small application (capital height 5mm and smaller) use ‘Logo Ellis Faas’

if Charles Thompson hadn’t created the Screen Nation awards, the work of black British film and television practitioners would be uncelebrated.



… Carol Russell

Charles Thompson MBE is quite simply a pioneer, a game changer and most importantly a leader. His contribution to Film and TV has helped pave the way for a wealth of African heritage talent on a global scale. …Sade Salami, Fresh Strawberry



Creative Project & Event Management n Party Planning

n Project Management

n Bespoke Event Management n MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions) n Product Launches n Roadshows n Awards

n Entertainment

n Corporate Hospitality n Venue Booking

n Event Theming & Decoration n Wedding planning services provided by

Supporting Black Film in London i would like to send a message of support to the prestigious Screen Nation Awards, which acknowledges the contributions of Black actors and filmmakers to the film and television entertainment industry. The Awards are an inspiration to those already working in this sector, and also those aspiring to enter it. i am committed to supporting the development of London’s film industry and to promoting London as a globally competitive film location. That commitment includes making sure that our film and media sector attracts from the widest pool of talent.

Boris Johnson Mayor of London

CONTACT: T: +44 (0) 844 357 3582 u E: u W: page


screen nation


EXECUtiVE dirECtor it’s my great pleasure to be able to write this piece in what is our seventh celebration and in what many note has been a year beset with challenges, yet full of potential for greater and greater things. it’s been the biggest honour of my career so far, to work with the Screen Nation team and alongside our CEO Charles Thompson, to reflect upon and celebrate the achievements of our community in an ever changing but wonderful industry. The theme of this year’s brochure is the Magnificent Black Men of British Film and Television, reminding the world of all the positive and inspiring images of the black man in the UK has become something of a raison d’être this year, but behind the scenes at Screen Nation the theme has been very much that of team work. Screen Nation can only happen if people jump off the sidelines and give us their best, we have a wonderful team who are doing just that and i have to thank them deeply for doing so, and so well. i hope everyone lucky enough to attend the event this year has a magical and memorable time with us, and i would take this opportunity to thank them for their support. But anyone reading this and showing an interest in what we do, i humbly also thank you. We know what we do is important and of value, not just commercially but also on many deeper levels. Thank you for sticking with us. As for me, well, by god’s grace i have found my way to the best job in the world and am hugely grateful. Now let’s party...

Josie d’Arby is also directing this year’s live show.

Josephine d’Arby Executive Director page


screen nation

awards Sophia says… “it’s that time again – the hottest event in the black film and television industry calendar is here - and we’re seven year’s deep. Yes, it’s Screen Nation awards time and this year’s set to be bigger than ever. We’ve got a brand new team bringing fresh eyes, creativity and experience to this fantastic event.



We love themes, and this year we’re saluting all the magnificent black men of the British film and television industry – especially as Screen Nation’s founder and CEO, Charles Thompson, is a recipient of an MBE this year. Thank you to everyone who supports Screen Nation and have stayed with us on this journey – it means everything to us. Now sit back and flick through the fourth Screen Nation awards brochure – be inspired and celebrate the nominees, special honours and winners of this year’s event.”

Sophia A Jackson xx

Publisher Editor Features writer Contributors

Sophia A Jackson Black Limelight Amica Anselm Carol russell

Lorna Cole

Tony Warner

Akua gyamfi

Cassam Looch

ivy Kodjovi

richard Weekes

georgina ramsay

Chrissa Amuah

Josie d’Arby

Dominic Armstrong

Cover Concept

Photo of Sophia A Jackson taken by Ayo Banton for the 2010 Black 100 + exhibition


Charles Thompson, MBE

Cathy Hassan i

Screen Nation would like to express our gratitude for the photographers whose images have been included in the creation of our Magnificent Black Men front cover. Thank you.

staY ConnECtEd witH sCrEEn nation Web: Twitter: Facebook:

© 2011 reserved by Screen Nation. reproduction in whole or in part without prior permission is strictly prohibited.

Contact me via: Follow me on Twitter:


or visit my website: It would be a pleasure to hear from you. page



e stoTn HAT D e s u f e r THe . r e d l i u b

mEEt tHE ContriBUtors..... We are honoured to have such talented writers contribute to the 2011 Screen Nation Awards brochure. Amica Anselm Amica Anselm is a freelance journalist for online and print magazines bfm, Afridiziak Theatre News, and Lime Magazine. During her three year degree studying for her BA honours in Journalism and Creative Writing, Amica progressed as a journalist for her university magazine re:fuel, and went on to do work experience at The Sunday Times, Pride Magazine, BBC and MTV. These experiences have aided her as a catalyst to succeed in her aspirations of being an in-house journalist, broadcaster and author. Amica was a personal assistant on The Story of Lovers rock and most recently an extra in Dexter Fletcher’s movie, Wild Bill. WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? i must say Trevor McDonald and Idris Elba.

• Info: Carol Russell Carol russell is a writer for television. Her broadcast credits include; House of Usher, Crucial Productions, BBC 1998, two series of Comin’ Attacha With Cleopatra, initial, iTV 1998/99, The Story of Tracy Beaker, CBBC 2002 and EastEnders, shadow scheme 2010. Prose writing includes; reunion, shortlisted for the Saga prize, 1995 and Nine Night, long listed for Lit idol 2004. She’s also a freelance corporate story consultant; her clients include the Asian Development Bank, royal Mail and HMrC. Carol trained as an actor at the Jamaica School of Drama. On returning to Britain, she performed with companies such as the English Shakespeare Company. WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? Lennie James for his artistic integrity and Roger griffiths for his delicious versatility.

• Info: Lorna Cole Lorna Cole spends most of her time producing and presenting videos about DJs and nightlife in different locations across the globe. She cut her teeth as a presenter on local radio stations in south London, before being lured by the ibiza sunshine working as a DJ and presenting her own daily show for a few years. Fashion was Lorna’s first career, designing her rudestar range of accessories that sold in outlets from London to Japan. She has written for magazines and newspapers in New York, San Francisco and London. After some time living out of the country, Lorna is based back in her hometown, London. WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? i always look to trailblazers for inspiration. Paul Robeson, even though he was from the USA, really made his mark in the UK by being one of the first black actors in British films during the 1930’s. He took a stand against the colonial attitude of some of the British filmmakers at the time and paved the way for other black actors.

• Info: | Chrissa Amuah Formally trained as a broadcast journalist, Chrissa Amuah’s career began as a writer for Pride magazine and as a broadcasting assistant on the Dotun and Amina Show on BBC radio London 94.9FM. Her career has since gone on to span advertising, design, publishing and the arts. Working across both non-profit and commercial brands, previous collaborations and clients include; Kofi Annan, David Adjaye OBE and Burrogrande Productions. Passionate about creativity and innovation, Chrissa’s current projects include working with the Financial Times, Emmanuel Jal (former Sudanese child soldier, now international hip hop star and anti-war activist) and other Africa focused creative projects. WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kwame Kwei-Armah and Noel Clarke. We also have a rising crop of talent, which includes O-T Fagbenle, Arnold Oceng and Aml Ameen.

• Info: | Cassam Looch Cassam has worked as a film journalist for almost a decade now, and is currently the film reviewer for Lime Magazine as well as a regular contributor to Yahoo! Movies. Last year he even turned up in front of the cameras as an extra in a Summer blockbuster (but he’s not telling us which one!). Cassam co-owns Movie Vortex, a film website where his reviews, interviews and indepth musings can be found.

T e l : 0 1 1 5 9 9 8 8 7 8 7 ef M o b i l e : 0 7 8 5 5 7 0 2 3 5 0

WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? You can’t look further than Idris Elba. He’s huge on both sides of the Atlantic and can deliver believable characters in any genre.

• Info: | page


JosiE d’arBY


Having presented the Screen Nation Awards four times, actor and presenter Josie d’Arby is here to shake things up as this year’s creative director.

“My personal favourite is David Oyelowo, I first met him at a party when he had just graduated from drama school, and I was struck by his confidence and manner, watching his star rise has been interesting. He is an intelligent actor not just in his choice of roles, which is flawless but also in his choices for the characters he plays. I think he is one of the countries greatest acting talents right now and I hope he continues to be recognised as such. I would also have to mention Nonso Anozie too because I think, given the right role, talent-wise, he is capable of anything.

WORDS: Sophia A Jackson Josie d’Arby is a Welsh born RADA trained actress of Caribbean decent who has a wealth of experience as both an actor and presenter on the British screen. Josie has been gracing the nation’s screens for well over a decade in a career that continues to defy definition or limits. An emerging talent nominee in our inaugural year, Josie has since gone on to present the Screen Nation Awards an unprecedented four times and is delighted to combine her skills, experience and knowledge in a major new behind the scenes role for Screen Nation. As our new creative director Josie will be spear heading the charge to make sure that year’s event is really head and shoulders above the rest. Wow, you’ve presented the Screen Nation awards four times – why did you keep coming back? i kept coming back because i had to, i had so much fun doing it (despite the challenges) and above all i believe in it. i have been in the industry a good while now and i know how important these occasions are to those of us trying hard to represent not just ourselves but our cultures and our identity as British blacks. it’s still not a level playing field by any means and yet the wealth of British and international black film and television talent is nothing short of phenomenal, until the field is level we will persist in promoting all the great talent, not just within the community, but within the media, the industry at the highest possible level and worldwide. So to be in anyway involved with that has been not a job but an absolute passion of mine. This year, you’re behind the scenes as creative director. What changes can we expect to see and what skills are you bringing to the table? in terms of skills, i think i bring a fresh creative vision and a great sense of occasion, timing and entertainment… But i am also super aware that the world’s eyes are on us and i want us to page


continue to live up to what that means and maybe one day even surpass what people thought was possible. This year you can expect a very slick, tight show with two wonderful and incredibly popular and experienced presenters at the helm in Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, and of course, their on-stage chemistry is something to behold... hopefully gelli’s waters won’t break! You should also expect to be brought up to date with the best of what black professionals have done in the industry since the last awards, a lot of which you may have missed and will thrill and surprise you. You can expect to see up close and personal, some of the best talent out there many of whom will finally be awarded for their incredible careers. i understand the talent side of it very well, but i also have an over-arching creative vision to hang this all together in one magical night. Yes i have been to the Baftas, the grammys, the rTS and Oscar parties so i have something of an idea of what the guests and audience expect, not that we’re on that level yet, but it certainly informs one. Why do you think Screen Nation is such an important event? i think it’s not just important, i think it’s vital. it’s more than just a social occasion, it’s an actual moment to stop and take stock of how far we have come and say to the industry ‘watch this’. Viewed on one night, all these achievements stack up and it becomes ever clear the phenomenal and unique contribution artists of colour make to the British landscape and the industry worldwide. i am proud that some of the talent has been recognised, and then gone on to have phenomenal success. Our host Angellica is a former winner who continues to go from strength to strength in her TV career and, take it from me, that’s not easy.

“I understand the talent side of it very well. I have an overarching creative vision to hang this all together in one magical night. I have been to the Baftas, the Grammys, and Oscar parties so I have an idea of what the guests and audience expect, not that we’re on that level yet, but it certainly informs one.” You’re well and truly part of the Screen Nation family. What are some of your fondest memories? i have so many. The cast of roots probably gave the most goose bumps i have ever had. it was just so moving, i think we had let ourselves collectively forget how much that series had meant to us all, as soon as the music started playing and the cast made their way to the stage, i thought, i am going to cry, i am just going to cry. But the moments for me are when Charles and i get together after the event, and say, OK buddy, shall we do it all again ? Shall we fly in the face of all the naysayers, do all the graft that’s involved behind the scenes, take the flak and make sure our men and women in the industry know how appreciated they are. Any embarrassing moments you wish to share with us? Are you crazy? Yes, many, that’s the life of a live presenter for you... i can’t possibly relive them, not even here. One of the reasons Screen Nation exists is because actors of African-Caribbean descent are often marginalised in more mainstream Awards ceremonies; has race ever been an issue for you?

You know race continues to be an issue for me. i came up in the late 90s and 00s when to get a radio show as a female you had to be blonde and to go further in music presentation you had to do radio. That was it. i did very well, in my day i was competing against class acts like Cat Deeley and sometimes i’d get the job and sometimes she would. i really held my own but presenting teenage shows is massively fun but there comes a time when you want to do more than help bands shift their albums you know? You stop caring about what the latest jeans or t-shirt are or at least you want a break from that, you grow up. i always wanted to do other things, travel, write and now direct and slowly but surely i have completed the apprenticeship that allows me to participate in the industry in a way and at a level that i feel has real meaning. i am also a big family person and as my parents get older hanging out with them as friends is more important to me than trying to keep up with the Jones’. i have ambitions but they start and end with me being happy.

Of course you have to mention Idris Elba in such a conversation because he has been a powerhouse and trailblazer for the British black leading man. His journey shows guts and determination and he is an inspiration. Can I also tip my hat to Chris Tummings and Victor Romero Evans, because when I was growing up in Wales the whole family would not miss anything those two did, they gave us such good laughs at a time when it was much harder for black folks to make it on the box, so I’ve got to big up them two too, I just gotta. I’m happy to say neither has aged and they are both fine looking men.”


What do you think Screen Nation should be doing in the future? Screen Nation should continue to grow and reach a wider audience and extend the platform, obviously we enjoy attracting big international names but we want the Award to mean something to those than win, and to mean something to their career. You know like when you win an Oscar and your stock goes up, it would be nice if Screen Nation had that kind of cache, if we all work together we can do it but in many ways it’s enough that it means that we saw you, we loved you, we thought you were great… What are you looking forward to most at this year’s awards and why should people support Screen Nation? This year i am most looking forward to us achieving our goal of our best show yet, but it takes the talent and the audience to make it happen and they are the people we are doing it all for, so if they get involved actively then we can all do it together, and then we cannot fail because trust me, those working behind the scenes are giving this our all. But we cannot do it alone. The audience and talent have to come with us - then it will be magical. page


WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? “We’ve been following Idris Elba’s career for a while now and he’s becoming a strong force in the industry.”

Screen Nation has its finger firmly on the pulse on what’s hot in all areas of the entertainment industry. Read on to find out more about Ayanna, the rising star performing at this year’s awards ceremony. British vocalist, cellist and composer Ayanna is leading the way in black folk music. She is the first non-American to win the legendary Amateur Night at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem – and one of only a handful of people to win with an original composition. A former Emerging Artist in residence (EAr) at London’s Southbank Centre, participant in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Discovery Panufnik Young Composers Scheme and the holder of music degrees from Trinity College of Music and Manhattan School of Music, Ayanna is an innovative composer/arranger/performer of great versatility and depth. She has worked alongside UK artists Courtney Pine, Nitin Sawhney, Jason Yarde, robert Mitchell, Nick Mulvey, gwyneth Herbert, Boo Hewerdine and Fraser Fifield and a host of international performers including Chinese folk artist Xiao Juen and the indigenous Australian musical force Black Arm Band.


WORDS: Josie d’Arby

Screen Nation highly recommends Choklate: “One day i was watching some American TV series – about gymnasts i think it was – it was the pivotal moment in the show, the lead actress was about to do something amazing, that no one believed she could, the type of Hollywood moment that demands something extraordinary from its soundtrack..... then it happened! i heard my very first CHOKLATE track, and it was love at first listen. i got on google and hunted the track down, only to find that the artist who had created it was no ‘one song wonder’ but had three album’s worth of grown up soul – the stuff that moves you and gives you that feeling of a deep groove. A feeling that, for me, had been missing in so much of today’s over synthesized music. This was honest, genuine, raw, smooth and intelligent. Soul was back! i decided to use that track during the live show this year but also to tip my hat to Choklate for being a part of the awards, and for making music that you can get your groove on to but which goes a little deeper. The Seattle-based artist hasn’t been over to the UK yet, but i reckon it’s only a matter of time – check her out on iTunes and YouTube, i don’t think you’ll regret it.”

Info:w page


recent performances have included a series of collaborations for the 2011 Kings Place Festival, and a stunning debut at the Decibel Performing Arts Showcase, which was rated ‘a beautiful, original performance (that) was absolutely mesmerising from the outset’. Forthcoming performances include Jazz Voice, the opening night gala of the London Jazz Festival at The Barbican on 11 November.

Info: Ayanna has just released ‘Truthfully’ – an EP produced by Marc Mac (4hero), available now via her website: JAzz VOICE R-JOHNSON AND TE IT W NA AN AY S R 11 , 20 11 ! DON’T MiS RE O N NO VE M BE NT CE AN IC RB BA AT TH E

We are delighted to have Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood as hosts of the 2011 Screen Nation awards. Read our exclusive interview to find out more about this happy couple. How do you feel about hosting the Screen Nation Awards? We’re really honoured to be hosting the Screen Nation Awards and getting the chance to work together again. Why do you think the Screen Nation Awards is such an important event? We live in a diverse society and we believe it’s important to recognise and celebrate the diversity that exists in the media and arts. Knowledge is power: what do you know now about the media industry; that you wish you knew when you first started out? it’s often not about how talented you are, it’s about how you ‘play the game’. What survival tips can you give to an out of work presenter who is wondering if it’s all worth it? Persevere with it and try to think ‘out of the box’. Sometimes an opportunity will become available when you least expect it. Always have a back-up plan; it’ll make you feel more secure. What are you looking forward to most at this year’s awards and why should people support Screen Nation? We’re looking forward to seeing Sir Trevor McDonald, a true legend in the world of broadcasting and other friends in the industry. People should support Screen Nation because they recognise not just current, but upcoming talent in the industry. Angellica, tell us about 71 Degrees North – how did you cope? Why did you do it? it’s the hardest thing i’ve ever done, both physically and mentally, but i faced and overcame my fears. it was great to do, as i challenged myself by being taken out of my comfort zone. Angellica, what do you enjoy most about being part of the One Show? i love meeting people who have a fantastic story to tell. Ordinary people who may not have got the chance to be heard, are given a voice. Michael, you’re no stranger to the red carpet – who has been your favourite celebrity interviewee? That’s a difficult one, but the interview i remember most fondly was in Madrid with Jennifer Lopez.

i expected her to be tricky and demanding, a true diva, but nothing could be farther from the truth. She was incredible. Michael, how did you overcome your nerves when you first started presenting? i didn’t! You learn to control your nerves with confidence and experience. i’ll always be a little nervous before a live presenting job, but you learn to channel it in a positive way. Michael, why did you decide to launch Michael’s Movie Blog – do you really do the updating and writing? Quite simply i love films. i spent many years interviewing film stars, visiting movie sets and hosting red carpet events, so i wanted to indulge that passion and experience. i do all the updating myself and write all the news stories and reviews.

meet the hosts WORDS: Sophia A Jackson

Congratulations, on the pending new addition to your family. What are you both looking forward to with regards to parenting? We’re looking forward to starting our family and beginning a new chapter in our lives together. We’ve been doing a lot of reading and other research, but i guess you’ll never know what being a parent is like until you have your first child. Will you be encouraging your child into the entertainment industry? No. The truth is, they need to follow their own destiny and once they know what they’d like to do, we’ll support them in every way we can. How do you both switch off when you come in from work, or are you always ‘talking shop’? We like to spend time together relaxing at home or going out with friends for dinner. We keep ‘talking shop’ to a minimum in our home. What has it been like having a relationship whilst both being in the public eye? We’re not the Beckhams, so we lead pretty normal lives. Yes, we may get spotted out and about from time to time, but it’s never any trouble. We’re fairly private people compared with many other well-known faces, so having a relationship hasn’t been difficult.

Info: |

“We’re not the Beckhams, so we lead pretty normal lives. Yes, we may get spotted out and about from time to time, but it’s never any trouble. “





our specIAl Hon

Outstanding Contribution:

WORDS: Lorna Cole

Clarke Peters After four decades and proven longevity, this year, Clarke Peters receives the Screen Nation Outstanding Achievement honorary award. He is best known and loved for playing detective Lester Freamon aka Cool Lester Smooth in the highly acclaimed US cop series The Wire, even though throughout his 40 years in show-business he has switched roles between actor, singer, writer and even artist. Born Peter Clarke, Clarke Peters enjoyed a bohemian upbringing in Englewood, New Jersey, surrounded by an artistic family. He went to school with the isley Brothers and John Travolta and his neighbourhood was filled with artists and musicians. Dizzy gillespie lived there. in his teens, Peters left the US for Europe to chase his dream of becoming an actor and fulfill his desire to learn the trade. in Paris he hit the ground running studying mime as a protégé of Marcel Marceau. His first break was in the French capital as part of a production of the hippy musical, Hair! in 1971. Soon after, he headed to the UK where he has since spent most of his adult life. The 59-year-old now lives in London with his wife Penny and their son Max, who followed in his dad’s thespian footsteps when he took to the stage as a young Michael Jackson in the West End musical, Thrilller. Son from a previous relationship, Joe Jacobs, has been bitten by the acting bug too, making regular appearances in British TV dramas such as The Bill and Holby City. it was not too long ago in 2009 we also saw Peters in Holby City as Derek Newman, the terminally ill father of Donna Jackson, one of the lead characters in the BBC serial. During his early years in London, much of the time was spent focused on a working in music. Peters enjoyed some success with The Majestics, a Soul band he formed in the early seventies. During that time he sang backing

vocals for David Essex and Joan Armatrading, also lending his tones to Heatwave’s hit, Boogie Nights. During his 40 years, the industry stalwart has added Driving Miss Daisy, Porgy and Bess and Chicago to a long list of theatre credits. Off stage, Peters is very open about his exploration into spirituality. Following the teachings of indian religious movement, Brahma Kumaris, he centres his life with meditation, celibacy, not drinking alcohol and a healthy vegetarian diet. Even after a consistently successful career, Peters managed to reach new heights when he was signed up for the pivotal role of Detective Lester Freamon in The Wire in 2002. The Baltimore-based gritty crime drama lasted five seasons over six years, and is often lauded as the best television series ever made. After his six years on The Wire, Peters continues his work with HBO, joining the cast of Treme. The high profile series is named after a New Orleans neighbourhood, the city where it is set. Now in its third season, Treme depicts how residents try to piece their lives back together, post Hurricane Katrina. Peters plays Albert “Big Chief” Lambreaux, a Mardi gras indian chief who is well respected in his community. No stranger to roles of gravitas, Peters is often cast as heavyweights, recently playing Othello on stage in Sheffield and in his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in Channel 4’s Endgame in 2009. Yet, he is equally at home with lighter characters in romantic comedies such as Notting Hill and Marley and Me.

Theatre royal Stratford East in 1990 and ended up winning a Laurence Olivier award during its four year run in the West End. The book he wrote of the musical notched up a Tony Award nomination. Paul J Medford was part of the Five guys Named Moe team and one of the original cast of Eastenders. He credits his work with Peters as one of the most influential times of his life: “i first worked with Clarke Peters when i was 7-years-old. He played my dad in the TV show The Professionals. Many years later he gave me my first big break in musical theatre. He cast me as Little Moe in Five guys Named Moe. My life changed forever and for that i owe him everything.” He has impacted on peers in his field as he has done his international audiences, and his contribution will be recognised at this year’s Screen Nation ceremony. Screen Nation’s CEO, Charles Thompson, said: “Clarke Peters is the quintessential AfricanAmerican Anglophile actor, too smooth for hood movies, too classy for laugh-out-loud comedies, and far too gifted not be used in classic Shakespearian theatre. We are blessed to have him on this side of the water and his historic contribution to British theatre, film and TV, coupled with compelling performances across a wide range of the very best of contemporary American television make him a stand out talent. it is these and a hundred other reasons why he is the godfather of this year’s Awards show.”


His talents have stretched to being creator the of musical hit, Five guys Named Moe. The 1930’s style, jazz infused show started life in London’s page


WORDS: Sophia A Jackson

our specIAl Hon

Edric Connor Inspiration Award:

sir trevor mcdonald oBE Trinidadian-British newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald OBE, real name, george McDonald began his career as a print and broadcast journalist in Trinidad where he read the nightly news. He is the eldest of four children and his father, Lawson, worked in an oil refinery and raised pigs. He was an avid reader and listener of the BBC World Service and he used this programme to refine his English. in 1969 he became a BBC World Service radio producer for the Caribbean and joined independent Television News [iTN] in 1973. He is notable for having been the first black news reader in the UK and has won more awards than any other British broadcaster. His achievements are admirable and his career inspirational, and we are proud to present Sir Trevor McDonald with Screen Nation’s Edric Connor inspiration Award. His abundance of major awards and accolades include an OBE in the Queen’s 1993 Honour’s list. in 1999, he received a Knighthood for his services to journalism and earlier this year, he was awarded the BAFTA fellowship. There are many, many more awards to add to this list... Sir Trevor worked his way up over the years serving as a news, sports and diplomatic correspondent. He rose to diplomatic editor and then to newsreader where he became the much loved face of iTN evening news and was famed for regularly ending the nightly bulletin with ‘And finally…’ as he left viewers on a happy note. Sir Trevor is a pioneer, who paved the way and opened the door for the many black newsreaders and broadcast journalists who came after him. His flagship current affairs programme, Tonight with Trevor McDonald ran for ten years from 1999 - 2009 and from 1995 - 2008. During his illustrious career, Sir Trevor McDonald has presented the National Television Awards. it was a sad day for broadcast news when he stepped down as iTN’s anchor in December 2005 and read his final late-night bulletin. His final words were “That brings to an end my association with the news at 10.30. Thank you for watching.” He is one of the nations most loved journalists and broadcasters, Sir Trevor McDonald, we salute you.

ABOUT THE EDRIC CONNOR INSPIRATION AWARD Trinidadian folklorist, singer and actor Edric Connor (1913-1968) became well known in the British theatre, television and film world. He is acclaimed for being the first black actor to perform in Shakespeare at Stratford-upon-Avon, as gower in Pericles (1958). Some of the films he starred in include Moby Dick (1956) and King of Kings (1961). He also became a filmmaker himself and shot one of the first documentaries on the Trinidad Carnival. Previous recipients of Screen Nation’s Edric Connor Inspiration award: t 2009 t 2007 t 2006 t 2005 t 2004 t 2003

Don Warrington Moira Stuart Mona Hammond Paul Barber Floella Benjamin Rudolph Walker page


our specIAl Hon


BUrning an iLLUsion WORDS: Akua gyamfi Burning an illusion is a British film about a young UK-born black woman who begins to question her attitude to love, life and her desire for middle-class respectability and security through marriage. This inspirational film is notable for breaking the tradition of placing white males at the centre of the story. it is also unique in prioritising the personal drama of black women over the socio-economic and political conflicts traditionally associated with such films. Directed by Menelik Shabazz, Burning an illusion is an intimate piece of black British cinema that immerses you in the world of a young West indian couple living in London during the ‘80s. Set against a backdrop of a classic lover’s rock soundtrack and the sights of Notting Hill gate and Ladbroke grove, Shabazz takes his time to show the evolving relationship between Pat Wililams (played by Cassie McFarlane) and Del (Victor romero-Evans). it is simply a realistic love story between a young black couple. What makes Burning an illusion such a timeless classic is that, perhaps way ahead of its time, Shabazz had the foresight not to force political rhetoric from the mouths of his main characters. instead, he lets the environment of 1980s London speak for itself, with his characters behaving naturalistically throughout. What Shabazz also captures – a rarity in today’s cinema – is the focus of a love story through the eyes of a black woman who is not plagued by ‘issues’. Pat is allowed to be Pat without carrying ‘woe is me’ across her shoulders – a ‘strong black woman’ but not one walking around with her fist in the air (well, not until the very end at least) . The importance of Burning an illusion is its subtle accuracy. Shabazz captures the ‘isms’ of black life which round out the film – from shopping in the market for Ultrasheen and the natural kissing of teeth that so rarely comes across on the big screen, to the reality of arguing with your partner whilst one uses the bathroom, the positive/negative influence of friends in our love lives, and the unwavering support which black women have for their men. The film deals with racism, sexism, relationships and incarceration, and the conflict between a black woman’s reasoning and a black man’s pride are put under the microscope. Pat is the idealistic woman who has aspirations to do better, yet is brought down to earth when love and life takes her off course. Del represents the angry black man without being weighted with the usual inexplicable aggression. We are made to understand, without excuse, Del’s problems – and in turn the frustrations of a black man in a foreign land. Burning an illusion llusion could be blamed for providing the blueprint for the black man-bashing films that prevail today. But i believe it is an honest depiction of the black relationship, as we know it. Agree or disagree, you would be hard pressed not to find anyone who couldn’t relate or at the very least feel sympathetic towards the couple as their relationship takes the rollercoaster ride we have all experienced.

Burning and illusion went on to win awards, and Menelik Shabazz has become a respected director and producer making films for Channel Four and iTV. He is also the founder of the BFM international nternational Film Festival and founding editor of the BFM (Black Filmmaker Magazine). After a fifteen year break, Shabazz has made a return to the big screen with his feature documentary The Story of Lovers rock. Screen Nation is proud to honour Burning an illusion and its creator with a Screen Nation Classic Film Award.

Akua gyamfi is a writer, blogger, journalist and editor for the Screen Nation Awards Blog

Info: Burning an Illusion is available from page


our specIAl Hon

the real mcCoy ClASSIC TV SERIES AWARd

WORDS: Akua gyamfi

The real McCoy was a BBC Television comedy show which ran from 1991 to 1996, featuring an array of talented black comedy actors such as Felix Dexter, robbie gee, ee, Judith Jacob, Eddie Nestor, Junior Simpson and Curtis Walker. Back in the day, i was a sketch show addict. re-enacting e-enacting scenes at school then dropping the catchphrases as if i’d come up with them myself. Throughout the 80s and early 90s i couldn’t get enough of shows like ‘Kenny Everett’, ‘French and Saunders’, ‘Harry Enfield’, ‘The Fast Show’, ‘The Mary Whitehouse Experience’, and many more. rowing up as a black child Although, as much as i loved them, they were all extremely British. growing in Britain, the lack of representatives of us aside from Lenny Henry, on British TV meant we had to turn to African-American shows for familiarity comforts and laughter. But if you weren’t one of the lucky few who had cable or American cousins who would bring/send you VHS tapes filled with shows like ‘Martin’ or ‘in Living Color’ and such, then you still missed out, that is until a certain show called ‘The real McCoy’ landed on our screens. Filled with comedians we recognised from the underground comedy circuit, The real eal McCoy fast became that ‘rush home to watch and then over discuss the next day’ type of show, we lapped it up like fried chicken and rice (stereotype intended). Picked up by the BBC, The real McCoy offered comedic insight into the lives of British black folk. The show enjoyed a successful five year run and was allowed to air during prime time instead of the ‘insomniac’ hours which our TV shows were usually relegated to. With memorable characters such as the ‘Vex Family’, robbie gee’s perfect impersonation of Chris Eubank, Felix Dexter’s array of on point characters – The Accountant, The Ticket man and The Bouncer. Oh and i can’t forget the loveable Mr Frazier – (remember when you wanted to cuss someone, you just told them their dad favoured Mr Frazier?!) The real McCoy was prime example of how a highly ‘ethnicated’ show could be successful in a prime time slot. The sketches also didn’t shy away from addressing racism, and although they did it with humour there were times the show could have been considered quite controversial. But somehow, for five years it didn’t matter. The real McCoy production team were given the freedom to bring to light the ‘isms’ and ‘schisms’ of life as ‘we’ knew it. With the wonderment that is YouTube there are numerous clips of The real McCoy that have been uploaded by nostalgic fans. Watching those clips today, the jokes are still relevant and will still make you belly laugh. But, as always, with greatness comes controversy. A few years ago i went to a BBAF event (BBC Black and Asian Forum) which was about black programming in the UK or lack thereof it. Eddie Nestor and another one of the real McCoy team were there and they spoke about how they’d been trying to attain the rights to The real McCoy or at least get some re-runs shown on television but they’d been met with a brick wall. There is also a Facebook page that is petitioning to get The real McCoy back onto our TV screens and coupled with the fact that most of the YouTube clips of the show have hits up into the high thousands (with some even reaching hundreds of thousands), there is validity for this show to return, or at least have its concept revisited. As a trailblazer for programmes like ‘Blouse and Skirt’, ‘The Kumars’, ‘3 Non Blondes’, and ‘Little Miss Joycelyn’, The real McCoy is a piece of black British history that should be cherished and never forgotten. Which is why Screen Nation has chosen this iconic production to be awarded the Screen Nation Classic TV Award at this years’ event. We thank you: Felix Dexter, Llewella gideon, Robbie gee, Eddie Nestor, Curtis Walker and Ishmael, Junior Simpson, Meera Syal, Judith Jacob, Leo Chester Muhammad, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Collette Johnson.

Info: Akua gyamfi is a writer, blogger, journalist and editor for the Screen Nation Awards Blog 2011 www. page


our specIAl Hon

amanda FostEr


WORDS: Chrissa Amuah

A read through of Amanda Foster’s film portfolio is not for the faint-hearted. Not content with ‘just acting’, this lady takes ‘having balls’ to a whole new level... Whilst working on the film ‘Patriot games’ in 1992 with Harrison Ford, Amanda soon learned that there were no black female stunt artists in the UK, and that a black stuntman had had to double for grace Jones in the Bond movie, ‘A View to Kill’. So with that she was inspired and trained for six years across a number of disciplines, including; gymnastics, trampoline, fencing, martial arts, firearms and hang gliding. Acquiring a few bumps and bruises along the way, Amanda was certified and joined the British Stunt register in 1997.

“i first doubled for Halle Berry in 2002 on the Bond film ‘Die Another Day’ and consequently won the 2003 Taurus world stunt award for my work.” Whilst Amanda remains the first and only equity registered black stunt woman in the UK [for the past 14 years], she makes clear that there’s room in the industry for others, “Being a woman of colour might have had its limitations in the past, but that has since changed, it needn’t be the case. it depends on the mindset of the employer and how true the stunt person is to their craft. We have a wealth of black talent behind the camera, as well as in front, who have worked tirelessly over the years and are capable of great things.”

“Over the years, the fundamentals of stunt work have remained the same [as it’s always been]. You still take the knocks, although development of equipment, such as fire burn gels, which allow you to set fire to your skin instead of wearing protective clothing and various other equipment continue to improve. We still use our bodies, skill and talent to create some of the most exciting and exhilarating action scenes in film and television. it is not all Cgi as some people expect.” “There is an element of apprehension when you do stunts. it’s not for the faint hearted. You have to have balls, be physically fit, mentally capable and be prepared to get bruised and possibly broken! A typical day may involve; working a 13 hour day (not including travel) in the freezing cold until your muscles seize up, in a skimpy costume unable to wear protective padding, then having to fall down a flight of concrete stairs on cue!

“Yes - there are times i have to question my sanity!” Amanda laughs. And there – you thought having to walk 100 metres from the trailer to the set was the sign of a challenging day ahead. There’s no doubt when speaking to Amanda that she absolutely loves what she does, and thrives on the adrenaline of it all.

“There’s not a lot about it that i don’t enjoy, but i must say i do slightly favour precision driving. i enjoyed the Wachowski brothers’ film, ‘Ninja Assassin’, where i doubled Naomi Harris and did the driving sequences. it was shot in Berlin so the vehicles were left hand drive. Doing tricks using the opposite hand on the wrong side of the road was a challenge, but extremely fun. The scene where i kill the ninja baddie (rick Yune) on the Berlin roundabout by racing through traffic then doing a J Turn, hitting him with the rear of the car, was nerve racking. it was a night shoot and the last shot of the evening. There was only time for one take before the dawn broke. i had to get it right first time, which i did – woo hoo!”

Stuntwoman Amanda Foster doubled as Halle Berry and won a Taurus World Stunt Award for her fight scene in Die Another Day. Her edge-of-the-seat knife and dagger scene takes place on an aeroplane at 30,000ft . Credits include Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Da Vinci Code and more!

Aside from the courageousness of her work, what makes Amanda’s accomplishments even more awe-inspiring is the fact that she has done all of this whilst raising a family. “Spending time with my three children and two grandchildren is the greatest antidote to such a demanding career”. it’s safe to say Amanda Foster is pioneering a new league of grandparent. Ask Amanda what the next challenge is, and she gives a buzz of excitement. “You will never do every stunt as there is always some thing new to do. i am currently working on the film ‘World War Z’ with Brad Pitt and director Marc Forster. it’s a fantastic crew and a pleasure to be working again with many friends i haven’t seen in years, including second unit director Simon Crane and co-ordinator Wade Eastward.” With her long-term ambition set on an Oscar, Amanda is equally excited to receive the Vanguard in Stunt Production Award. “i am truly honored and grateful to Screen Nation for this award. receiving love and support from your own community is a blessing.”

WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? “To be honest I don’t watch a lot of TV, but have worked with many of the actors over the years. I have to say they are all magnificent!” page





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For all your photography needs. Professional - reliable - committed - and with competitive prices. Corporate n Events n Fashion Shows n Conferences n Press & PR n Awards n Parties n Weddings n Head-Shots Portraiture n Studio Shoots n Model Portfolios (Home visite & location including evenings/weekends) To view all the event photos, visit: Go to: My Event Username: SCREEN n Password: NATION n Photos can be viewed online as of: Wednesday 26th October

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Inform | Know | Discuss | Mirror | Unwind | Inspire

WORDS: Cassam Looch

Inform | Know | Discuss | Mirror | Unwind | Inspire

moViE V rtEX A guide to the hottest movies and acting heavyweights that you need to have on your radar. will be at the London Film Festival along with some big awards contenders. We predict big things for george Clooney again this year, with ‘The Ides of March’ benefiting from the man himself behind the camera as well as in front of it with the ubiquitous ryan gosling.

Above L - R: The Help, Sket. Bottom right: Mission impossible: ghost Protocol

The remarkable success of ‘The Help’ in the U.S. seems to have caught everyone off guard. Having been on release Stateside for several weeks already, we finally get a chance to see it here on October 26. The film has so far grossed over $100m (with a target of $150m not out of the question) and is garnering rave reviews with Viola Davis being singled out for awards-worthy praise. Something completely different is the remake of ‘Footloose’ which is a lot of fun. We predict a whole new group of line-dancing fans once this one comes out, and even more people searching for their faded denim and gingham shirts.

idris Elba and Ashley Walters team-up in British director Arjun rose’s ‘Demons Never Die’, another one to catch for horror fans. The slasher flick is one to check out, especially as rose is a filmmaker being heavily talked about at the moment. He’s also one of the most knowledgeable film fans that i’ve met in the industry, and has some interesting projects lined up for the future.

Another title doing well there is ‘Lion King 3D’ , although to be fair that is hardly a surprise. it’s another post-conversion 3D, but this one really works. We saw it at the iMAX and it’s an experience that will be impossible to forget. Just imagine the classic Disney animation, but bigger and better.

Morgan Freeman shows up in ‘Dolphin Tale 3D’ which is another one for the kids, but it’s always good to see this actor on screen. October sees the 55th London Film Festival and one of the big titles there will be ‘Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975’ which also gets a theatrical release on October 21. it’s also Halloween, and the traditional time to catch another instalment in the ever-popular ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise.



Fresh from getting the biggest gig in town, Eddie Murphy will prepare for hosting duties at the Oscars 2012 by starring in ‘Tower Heist’ alongside Ben Stiller. The comedy/action flick has been getting some great buzz and could be a crowd-pleaser in the best sense. The film also stars gabourey Sidibe who made such a lasting impression in ‘Precious’. Something a bit more challenging will be ‘Machine gun Preacher’ which sees burly Scottish hunk gerard Butler turning his back on a life of drug-dealing after finding god. He then becomes a crusader helping Sudanese kids who have been forced into picking up guns and fighting as juvenile soldiers. We’re still going to be getting our fair share of blockbusters hitting the screens with the latest instalment of ‘Twilight’ leading the charge. British star Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje turns up in the remake of ‘The Thing’, which is going to be a personal highlight of mine one way or another. if it works, it will continue to enhance the reputation of the flawless original, and if it doesn’t then the result will be exactly the same. Finally to round out the year there is ‘Mission Impossible: ghost Protocol’. Joining returning cast members Tom Cruise and Ving rhames is stunning ‘Precious’ star Paula Patton. it’s a big role for the actress, but we’re sure she’s up to it. The entire series of films have been something of a guilty pleasure, so we can’t wait for December 26 when the film gets a release.

Walters will also be in the latest film from revolver Entertainment. ‘Sket’ is the provocatively titled release which sees a group of girls taking on all sorts on a rough council estate. it’s from the same stable that brought you ‘Anuvahood’ and ‘Shank’ so you should know what to expect if you’ve seen either of the earlier releases. it’s also another title that

Film critic Cassam Looch is a co-founder of Movie Vortex: and

meet the adebanjos

Screen Nation caught up with the show’s creator Andrew Osayemi.

Towering in stature and with his cool business-like demeanor, Andrew Osayemi seems poised to spark a renaissance in black British comedy on the small screen. He has big ideas not bound by the parameters of TV, and is constantly driven by challenging the status quo. Even though he has no experience or training in television, 28-year-old Osayemi is the executive producer of MTA productions, an independent company he founded, embarking on their first adventure into the world of television, with the release of Meet the Adebanjos. it’s a comedy series centred on a Nigerian family living in London. Depicting the juxtaposition of the parents’ old school African moral values and the modern attitudes of their British-born children is where the hilarity unfolds. After toying with ideas such as The Fresh Prince of Peckham, Andrew and one of his best friends, experienced TV producer Debra Odutuyo, set about developing the Adenbanjos’ script with an American style writing team. They drew on their own experiences as British born Nigerians and honed the screenplay with a little guidance from Laurence gouldbourne, one of the writers who crafted the comedy on Desmonds, the classic 80’s sitcom that Andrew says inspired the Adebanjos. “We’d have the script and we would just sit down and tear it apart with the actors and they would bring in their experiences and we’d find out what works and what doesn’t. We wanted to make something our parents would watch, and our parents are very conservative.”

WORDS: Lorna Cole Enough of them bought into his vision to secure a large enough budget to produce all eight episodes. “i wasn’t looking at getting any government grants or loans because i think that is just a waste of time, it just ties you down and there’s so much red tape. Every single person i spoke to said, why don’t you go and get funding? But normally you have to be under stringent conditions and i just wanted to have complete creative control.” With a Warwick University degree in economics and previous work in the financial markets taking him to work in New York for a couple of years, Andrew built confidence dealing with large sums of cash. going out to raise £100,000 to fund the venture wasn’t a scary prospect to him. The series has already aired on black channels like OHTV, Ben and Vox Africa, but was rejected by the terrestrials, the premise being centred around a black family not being original enough for them. Andrew isn’t bothered by this rejection: “Us as black British people, we are too focused on trying to please and on trying to get on mainstream. We’re so focused on the idea that if it’s not on the BBC, Channel 4 or iTV then it’s a failure. But the UK’s only 60 million people. What we’re doing is going for Africa, that’s 350 million English speakers.

“We wanted to make each episode have a moral too. There’s too much TV that’s just done for the sake of shock value these days.”

We’re trying to make this the number one show there and there’s 10 times more money too. i wanna be flying into Barbados and seeing a big poster of the family there and thinking yeah, this is big.”

Not interested in government handouts, Andrew filled a theatre with 100 potential investors, his colleagues from his years working in the city as a trader, for a screening of the Adebanjos pilot,

Frustrated with a lack of support from black audiences in this country he is plotting to penetrate markets in Africa, America and the Caribbean.

WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? “I would say actors like the dad from the Adebanjos, Wale Ojo, and a lot of people like him, because there are so many great actors that are grinding. They are as good as anyone, but they’re not being given the chance. A lot of people would say Idris Elba who I deeply respect, but there are so many that are just as good.”

He said: “Unfortunately the black mainstream in the UK, not to say that they’re brainwashed, but they would probably like X-factor more than this.” The whole operation was based at Fresh Media’s studio in Clapham, south London. A collective of TV professionals, cameramen, producers, directors and the like, Fresh Media were formed to support youngsters working on media projects. Working with self-built sets and on less than the top rate of pay, the cast and crew of around 40 survived the six week shoot through last winter’s bitter conditions. “There was a lot of love and a lot of arguments, a lot of good times and a lot of tough times,” reminisces Andrew. “But even if they were throwing a tantrum, i would just remind them what they’re involved in is historic.” With his awareness that we live in an era where the brand is king, Andrew is setting up the Adebanjos as a franchise, with books, films and merchandise being dreamt up on the horizon. But even though the series is complete, available to subscribers online and the DVDs are selling like hotcakes, Andrew sees this as just the beginning. The team is already plotting storylines for season two and he has his eyes peeled for ideas for a sitcom aimed at women, and a kid’s show. “Our vision is to have a 40 acre studio, because Tyler Perry has a 40 acre studio. We just want to have our own studio where we can produce great black British content. i hope what i say now inspires others.”

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MONDAY.................................................. Most of today was spent doing UK press for the film Conan the Barbarian, in which i star as Artus, a Zamorian Pirate who is a friend of Conan. The momentum is high right now, as i have just come back from the premiere out in L.A, which was an amazing experience, as Hollywood premieres are full of glitz and glamour. i walked the red carpet and spoke to lots of international journalists. i also got to catch up with my co-stars including Jason Momoa (who plays Conan) and his wife Lisa Bonet, who i used to have a crush on, back when she played Denise Huxtable in The Cosby Show. But now i am back in London and completing an emailed interview about the film for the website Scene TV. Afterwards i make my way down to the Soho Hotel in London’s West End for two faceto-face interviews. The first chat was with Lime Magazine, and the second was with the Voice newspaper.


nonso anozi

He’s a busy man. However, Screen Nation managed to pin down the Conan the Barbarian, game of Thrones and Stolen star to give us a snapshot of a typical week in his successful acting career from the Hollywood hills to Europe. Let’s go….

FRIDAY/SATURDAY.................................... WEDNESDAY............................................ Series two of game of Thrones is being filmed in i am lined up to do a series of voiceovers today. A lot of acting has to do with the voice, and doing voiceover work helps to keep that instrument warmed up and exercised, which is one of the reasons i try and do it as much as i can. One of my favourite voiceover parts has included general McKenna from the popular computer game Brink. i must have done a good job, as the game was number one in the country when it was released in mid 2011. The work i do in this area is varied and can range from doing a Jamaican accent to advertising the new Usain Bolt trainer by Puma, or doing the voice for a grumpy animated rabbit with a deep south US accent, for Country butter. The Jamaican accent was a bit of a challenge, as my roots are Nigerian/English, but i like the unpredictability of that side of my job.

Northern ireland, Croatia and Morocco. i did my costume fitting in Northern ireland a few weeks back, and on Friday night i flew out to Dubrovnik in Croatia to start actual filming, which is very exciting. My character’s name is Xaro Xohan Daxos. He is a merchant prince - the richest man in Qarth (the fictional land where the show is set), so i am dripping in gold and jewels. There is a real detail about my costume. i feel like an emperor when i wear it. it’s very ornate. Saturday is spent looking around the city. it is very hot in Croatia right now. At the moment it is too early to share any visuals (the series doesn’t come out till Spring 2012 and i’ll get my wrist slapped if i do), but i can’t wait for everybody to see me in character.

THURSDAY............................................... ...............................................

the gym Nonso hits

TUESDAY................................................. This morning i went to the gym. The gym is something that i have worked into my lifestyle. i’ve been asked to do a lot of action roles, so i need to be ready to run, jump or anything else that tends to require some, flexibility, stamina and energy. i tend to try and go at least five days a week, and my workout consists of 30 minutes of cardio and 35-45 minutes of weights on different muscular groups. Since being signed up for the second series of acclaimed US HBO drama game of Thrones, i have been putting in a lot of work at the gym, as i just want to get my body into the shape that is appropriate for the role i am playing, which requires a lot of energy and action.

Catch Nonso Anozie in The grey in cinemas across the country in January 2012, and season two of HBO’s game of Thrones on Sky Atlantic in April, 2012. page


My immediate younger sister has a son of 5, Malachi, and i try and spend as much time as possible with him, which includes taking him to and from school, which i did today. i also often take him to after school activities and help him with his homework. His dad isn’t as prevalent in his life as i would like, so it is important for me that he has strong male figures around him on a regular basis, who can act as good role models for him. i am so proud to see he is coming on leaps and bounds and that the extra lessons and time given by myself, his mum and his grandma (my mum) are paying off.

Nonso catch es some zz z’s en route to Croatia...

Nonso at t he premiere

SUNDAY................................................... UNDAY UNDAY................................................... Today is my first time on set. i am picked up from my Hotel at around 4.30am and then straight into hair and make-up. They say filming for HBO is like no other job in the TV world, as it is not ‘just TV’, and this is totally true as the sets for game of Thrones are as lavish as any film set i’ve been on (and i’ve been on a few). Another thing about HBO dramas are they tend to push the envelope a bit, and game of Thrones is no exception, as it is quite raw in terms of the violence and nudity included. The only other thing i can compare it with on screen right now is Spartacus. My elaborate costume causes crowds to gather as we film on location. This is one of those crystal clear moments when i think how blessed i am. i work really hard but i’m so lucky to be doing something i love everyday.

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Hard work can pay off, as since working at iTN i have covered important national stories like the general election, London mayoral election and most recently the royal wedding. Do you think that British broadcasting companies like ITN/ITV NEWS represent ethnic minorities adequately? At iTN there is a cultural and diversity group, which supports ethnic minorities. They also run workshops and have recently set up a new work experience scheme to find new talent. More could be done overall, but you have to have the right qualities for the job, putting race aside. What is it like as a black woman to work for a renowned company, do you think your race or heritage has any advantages or boundaries? i think my race and heritage are an advantage, i’m very close to my family and i know what hard work is through witnessing the struggles and hurdles they have overcome. i’m f o rtu n a te e n o u g h to h a ve a mu m that supported my choice to work in media. My heritage and upbringing has contributed more to my career just as much as my education.

l I V I N G tHE

drEam We caught up with iTV Newsfloor manager

Tenneka Campbell.

WORDS: Amica Anselm Tenneka Campbell is a floor manager / studio technician at ITN. She covers all ITV national news output from London Tonight to News at Ten and prepares the studios for clients. During the live programmes she liaises with guests, manages the camera operators, relays instructions from other directors and provides assistance to the presenters. Since starting her career at ITN, following a degree in Media Production, Tenneka has been part of a great production team, and has worked with highly respected journalists and presenters such as Sir Trevor McDonald, Alastair Stewart, Mark Austin, Julie Etchingham and Mary Nightingale. Tenneka has covered many important national stories, and personal highlights that include The London Mayoral Election 2008 live from City Hall, The UK general Election 2010 for ITV and most recently the Royal Wedding.

For aspiring media moguls and hopeful young people who aim to be in your position, what would you advise them? The Media is a very competitive industry especially television, how did you land yourself a dream job most university graduates would kill for?

Networking is what can get you through the door and open up new career opportunities. Develop a thick skin as there will be a lot of no’s before you get a yes. Once you get work experience make sure you leave with as much i studied at university, and got a degree in contacts and connections as possible. Be Media Production. i was told that “to have passionate, persistent and know your worth. a career in Media whether it’s TV or print you have to have proof of work experience.” Don’t make excuses. i had to work in retail So during my second year at university, i part time throughout college and univermanaged to get work experience at iTN at sity, work for free, go to networking events, Channel 4 News. i made a good impression manage low budget videos. So do what is and through the floor manager at channel 4, necessary to get to your goal. Also having a i was able to apply for a position at iTV news. degree can help your progression, but doesn’t The year i graduated was the same year i necessarily have to be media based. Most got the job. companies would prefer experience over a First or a Masters and no experience at all. Is this a role you always wanted? What do you know about your industry that you i enjoy the job i have, as all iTV news wish you knew when you first started? programmes are live it’s important that i remain calm under pressure, adapt to changes, Support is necessary if you don’t have a staand be organised. These skills are transfera- ble income; it’s difficult to maintain a career. ble into almost any television production role Even if it’s not in the job you want in the long and eventually i would like to be involved in run. in media it is not fundamental to have a production management. degree in media. Being complacent isn’t a good thing, however Passion and experience outweighs anything – you have to be good at the job you have in else. order to be considered for promotion. page


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American actor, director, playwright, entrepreneur, screenwriter, producer, author and songwriter Tyler Perry, 42, (real name Emmitt Perry, Jr) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. You might recognise him as the guy who dresses up as an eccentric elderly woman by the name of Madea. Flaunting great strength, with an unerring ability to curse, smoke, shake up any neighbourhood and put it back together again, Madea is invariably heroine and culprit rolled into one – but there is so much more to Perry than that. The character spawned a series of hit plays and shot Perry to great success, culminating in his jaw-dropping achievement in topping a list in Forbes magazine of the highest paid men in entertainment. Not only is Perry an actor but also he has written and produced his own work, earning $130 million in 12 months from May 2010 to May 2011. His big break was from Diary of a Mad Black Woman which debuted number one nationwide and made way for films such as Madea’s Big Happy Family, Why Did i get Married, For Colored girls, and Why Did i get Married Too.

WORDS: Amica Anselm

Perry has a remarkable way of tapping into markets which seemed almost unattainable, and his personal background and experiences have contributed to some truly great TV. With determination and poise, he went on to open his own television network. Like Oprah Winfrey, his initial inspiration during difficult times in a wayward upbringing, he has an omnipresent appeal and can boast record-breaking viewership figures.

tHE risE and risE oF

oF tYLEr


Screen Nation’s close up on a remarkable journey to success.

Like his multi-faceted character Madea, Perry is far from a one trick pony. With his flourishing writing skills, he has also entered the publishing world. To great public acclaim, he rose to the top of the New York Times nonfiction best sellers list with his first book Don’t Make A Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries On Life And Love. This American film director, the product of a troubled household and with all the odds against him, broke every glass ceiling and ascended like a boxing champion who was quite literally fighting for his life. Perry’s was an unprecedented achievement for a first time author, and the book remained on the best seller list for eight weeks. He has since gone on to co-write and direct a comedy drama series called House of Payne. Again Perry heralded a revolution when this syndicated production scored the highest ratings ever for a first run cable show. in the wake of this runaway success, Perry has opened a stupendous 200,000 square foot studio in Atlanta. risking easy accusations of being both workaholic and a compulsive overachiever, Perry strove to reach great heights, and doubtless had cause to reflect upon the emotional parallels with Ntozake Shange’s experimental 1975 play, For Colored girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The rainbow is Enuff, which went into publication as a “choreopoem” in 1977. it was adapted by Perry in 2010 as For Coloured girls, and featured an all-star cast including Janet Jackson, Whoopi goldberg, Thandie Newton and Kerry Washington. Perry has relentlessly pursued his dreams, in the face of critical sniping and claims that he trades in onedimensional stereotypes. Some have even accused Perry’s fans of generously overlooking the simplicity of his storylines, but this is to understimate the craft that goes into his film making. For Colored girls seemed to signal a new phase and earn him respect, although cultural critic Touré has controversially called Perry’s work ‘cinematic malt liquor for the masses’. Worse still, aspects of his work have reportedly been described as “coonery” and “buffoonery” by Spike Lee, the most financially successful black producer and director in history. Nonetheless, the multi-talented film maker has adapted the stage play Madea’s Happy Family into his latest film, released April 2011. Despite his punishing workload, Perry is now embarking on his new TV ‘dramedy’ For Better For Worse, based on the play and motion picture Why Did i get Married and its sequel, which promises to be the biggest TV show Perry has ever produced. Coming from such self-effacing beginnings, Perry is continuing to outpace himself and will doubtless continue to rise and rise.

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WORDS: Amica Anselm

The Story of

WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN OF THE BRITISH FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY? “People like Earl Cameron, Norman Beaton MBE, and Johnny Seckka. We’ve had a good generation of actors including Victor Romero Evans, Trevor Laird, there are quite a few important actors who have come out of this country, some of whom have gone on to Hollywood and so we’d have to put Idris Elba in that category now as well as Treva Etienne. In terms of film makers, Alrick Riley; unfortunately we lack a great tradition of black British directors in TV and cinema, although Horace Ové comes to mind, there’s not much of a list....”

Menelik Shabazz, a producer and director, is best known for his award winning debut feature Burning an Illusion (1982) which won the grand Prix at the Amien Film Festival that year. in 1996 he received the USA’s Prized Pieces Award for his BBC docu-drama Catch a Fire from the National Black Programming Consortium. Shabazz has directed and produced films for BBC, Channel Four and iTV. He is also the founder of the BFM international Film Festival and creator of BFM (Black filmmaker) magazine and Media. His latest work ‘The Story of Lover’s Rock’ is a feature documentary and is out now. Shabazz is a remarkable entrepreneur and is celebrated as one of the pioneers of black British cinema. Menelik Shabazz we salute you. What is the significance of lover’s rock? it’s a music that was a soundtrack of a generation; it provided a unique British sound, which empowered in the early stages young women in particular to talk about and express their feelings of love. So it was significant as a UK genre that was created and also it allowed young people to develop intimacy with themselves through dance all that kind of warm, loving feeling. What motivated you to make a movie about it? i saw an advert for a concert where many of the Lover’s rock artists were performing, it was a dedicated concert to lover’s rock and i saw it as a historical moment; so i decided that it was a moment to film and then it developed from there. Your company BFM has been running for 13 years, how has it succeeded in breaking down barriers in the media industry? BFM began by publishing a magazine and running a festival and both were important in raising the profile of black British film and black world cinema and developing new talent and bringing audiences to young talent in this country, through the festival. The magazine was, like the festival, pioneering in bringing to light the talent and also the understanding of film tradition and information that wasn’t present then – and unfortunately neither the festival nor the magazine still exist, but the legacy is really to raise the profile of black British and world cinema. Your movie Burning an Illusion featured parts of Ladbroke grove like Adam Deacon’s Anuvahood. How would you compare the content of both movies against time? Burning an illusion itself has stood the test of time because it’s still around and people are still consuming it. it’s studied in schools and universities and is part of the curriculum. it is screened and continues to be sold, so it has a legacy whereas other films are yet to do what i’ve done. So there’s not really a comparison at this moment because those films have not yet stood the test of time, it’s too early for them. BFM been a great tool to aid up and coming filmmakers, what advice would you give somebody who has had a lot of knockbacks and is trying to pursue mainstream media? i have always been an advocate of independent film making traditions, and i have worked in TV independently but i don’t encourage or think there’s much in this climate or space for people trying get into the mainstream media as such. i think it’s about creating your own way, trying to create a business model around what you do. Jamal Edwards who started SB.TV is an example of the way forward in terms of developing your own way and especially if you’ve had knockbacks, all these knockbacks are really just telling you that, that’s not the way for you to go – and to channel your talents into something which is going to empower you and that also has a business model to it. Do you think Lover’s Rock will make a come back, or will it continue to be an influence to modern day music? Well time will tell. We will see. i hope the film will influence people especially the younger generation to embrace more love and that feeling of warmth in the music. Whether lover’s rock itself in a form will come back? We don’t know yet, we’ll have to see, but i believe it will continue to have an influence. Especially now we’re getting more mainstream coverage of the genre, i think people will start to look back into that a lot more and i’m sure people will revolve from that genre in the way that they do with other genres.

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Finding loving families for children in care TACT Adoption is delighted to have been named as the official charity of the 2011 Screen Nation Awards. We are extremely excited and honoured to be a part of such a fantastic event and help celebrate black excellence in TV and film. So who is TACT Adoption? We are part of TACT Fostering & Adoption the UK’s largest charity provider of fostering and adoption services. Since 2004, TACT Adoption has found loving families for nearly 100 vulnerable children. It is a sad fact that the majority of children put forward for adoption will have suffered abuse or neglect in their young lives. Now, adoption is a wonderful thing and brings many positives to a young person who may never have lived with a loving and supportive family before. However, joining a new family does not mean that all the hurt and trauma they endured in the past will disappear. At TACT we strive to offer postadoption support to ALL our families. This may involve round the clock telephone support, therapeutic training programmes or regular parenting support groups. The more support we are able to offer the less likely an adoption placement will breakdown, causing more anguish to a child.

How you can help…

We receive NO government funding for the extra services we believe are vital to the wellbeing of an adoptive family. By simply donating £10 you could make a BIG difference to a child and their new family. Just £10 could: • provide much needed telephone support to an adoptive parent • pay for an adopted child to enjoy the TACT Adoption summer party • give adoptive parents the opportunity to attend a support group which offers advice and guidance

on parenting skills

Plus much, much more… Donating is easy: you can text “SCNA11 £10” to 70070 or send in your donation to: Gemma Sills, TACT Adoption, 303 Hither Green, London, SE13 6TJ. We are always looking for enthusiastic people to raise money for TACT…. just like Helen Massil. Helen is a TACT adopter who will be joining a group of six other intrepid explorers to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in February 2012. Helen has pledged to raise £2,000 to support our adoption services. She has already raised over £1,800 but would welcome your support to help reach her target.

If you would like to show Helen your support, you can make your donation via

Over 30 percent of the 1,497 children on the adoption register are of black origin. We urgently need more black and dual heritage families who are able to offer a loving and secure future to children through adoption.

If you are from African, African Caribbean, Asian and dual heritage background or you are a couple in a mixed relationship in the London area we’d love to hear from you.

But don’t worry if climbing a mountain isn’t for you, there are lots of other ways in which you can raise money:

Call 020 8695 8111 or pop along to our coffee and cake morning on Saturday 12 November at our offices in Hither Green from 10am - 1pm to speak to our friendly staff about how you could make a difference to a child in care. • perhaps hold a coffee morning with family and friends • host a quiz night • encourage colleagues to come to work in fancy dress – paying a donation for the privilege • or even jump out of a plane The world is your fundraising oyster! Whatever you choose to do - thank you. We passionately believe that every child deserves the right to a happy childhood. With your help we can continue to provide support to adopted children and their families ensuring they all enjoy a happy and fulfilling life together.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Screen Nation Awards for supporting our cause, and we wish you all a wonderful evening. Thank you.

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WORDS: Richard Weekes

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CHEss and tHE sCrEEn


Forget computer games - chess is fast becoming the new cool. In fact Will Smith said so, so that makes it official, then. Screen Nation asks – how can chess develop new thinking in young people? For the past six years I’ve helped to nurture children’s interest in learning to play chess. It’s my passion for teaching them how, that inspires my enthusiasm. Chess is the most rigourously researched of board games, and learning how to play can vastly improve the intellectual development of children and young people. My vision is to improve the game’s image and make it hugely popular once again, so I’ve put together a list of ten reasons why children should learn and play: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Taught well, chess is a fun topic; it’s inclusive and benefits all children. Chess improves the development of higher level thinking and reasoning skills. Chess improves many other mental capacities such as concentration, visualization, organisation, logic, reasoning, and critical thinking. Chess gives children and young people many opportunities to increase self-esteem, self-worth and develop greater confidence. Chess players have superior memory and a creative imagination Chess also enhances children’s ability at maths, science and reading. Chess teaches children how to win graciously and to learn from any mistakes made when defeated. Chess can enhance your child’s problem-solving and analytical skills. Children become quicker at identifying and remembering more and more, patterns All these skills can then be transferred and applied to other areas of their life, and especially in the classroom.

C H E S S A N d T H E B I G S C R E E N We’ve dug deep to find black actors who have starred in films about chess… Laurence Fishburne played in ‘Searching for Bobby Fischer’ (1993)

Chris Rock as a CIA agent in ‘Bad Company’ (2002)

Sean Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Fresh’ (1994)

Keke Palmer and Malcolm David Kelley with Ted Danson in ‘Knights of the South Bronx’ (TV, 2005)

... and Morgan Freeman played The Boss in ‘Lucky Number Slevin’ (2005)

‘Searching for Bobby Fisher’, ‘Knights of the South Bronx’ and ‘Bobby Fischer against the World’ are suitable viewing for children.

WEll NOW YOU kNOW… In an effort to make chess more visual, portrayals in film are another way of introducing our young people to the game. There are a few actors and well known individuals who play the game Of Kings: l Jamie Foxx has been addicted to chess since he was 8 years old. He told Live magazine “My biological father taught me how to

play – i don’t know whether it was because he wanted us to bond over it, but as soon as he showed me how, i just went off on it.” l Will Smith has played chess for many years. He told the independent: “it is cool to play chess. My father taught me how to

play at seven, and introduced beautiful concepts that i try to pass on to my kids. The elements of life are so perfectly illustrated on a chessboard. The ability to accurately assess your position is the key to chess, which i also think is the key to life.” Everything you do in your life is a move. Whatever move you’re going to make in your life to be successful, you have to accurately assess the next couple of moves – like what’s going to happen if you do this? Because once you’ve made your move, you can’t take it back.” l Lennox Lewis is an avid Chess player. He sponsors the Oakhaven Lennox Lewis Chess Team. l President Obama and his wife Michelle play chess also and support it as an intellectual game. l The rapper RzA, co founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, learned the game when he was 11. rZA is now a chess champion, and he and

his cousin gZA play chess almost every day. rZA is also the holder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation belt, a trophy won at a chess tournament in San Francisco. in 2008 he started a chess website at l Maurice Ashley was born in St Andrew, Jamaica and became the first African American international grandmaster in 1999.

in 2005 he published a book called ‘Chess for Success.’ l Sabrina Chevannes from the UK is a titled FiDE master. She was taught by her father and has played since childhood.

a guide to supporting

black f ilm

It’s well known that our TV channels have a habit of putting positive black films on very late at night. Similarly cinemas have a habit of only screening such films a couple of times or not at all. What can be done to support black films and encourage the accurate portrayal of African descent on the big screen? Menelik Shabbaz’ The Story of Lover’s Rock is out this month, and using this as a case study, here are some suggestions: WORDS: Tony Warner: founder, Black History Walks BE INFORMED Subscribe to a service which will inform you in advance that such films are in production or coming out. For mainstream movies such pre-publicity is guaranteed via gossip mags/newspapers/TV news and celebrity interviews. Screen Nation has a Facebook page and has a monthly newsletter. BFM’s website/monthly newsletter, Colourful Radio, Catch a Vibe and Lime magazine are also useful resources. THE STORY OF LOVER’S ROCK IS RELEASED SEPTEMBER 30 Put the date in your diary/phone, tweet it, create an event in Facebook, put a note on the fridge, text all your friends link: Tell your local radio station. Put it on your staff noticeboard, better yet organise a staff group to watch the film. if you organise a group of ten you might get in free. Contact your best friends, make a night of it and include dinner and/or pub. Transformers was advertised on TV and the sides of buses. The Story of Lover’s rock and films like it never have such luxuries but they do have the internet. Find the trailer on YouTube, copy and forward it to your entire mail list. Tell everyone that this film is unique and was refused funding by the British establishment. Positive black films literally have to fight to be made and never get the same level of funding/exposure as their white counterparts. Not conspiracy theory just fact. ONCE YOU KNOW THE CINEMA IT’S ON AT, ring or go online and book iMMEDiATELY. This helps the film as the cinema/organisers can assess that proven interest and arrange for extra screenings.

You can try these suggestions with our monthly events. Spike Lee’s Miracle at Santa Anna October 29, Esther Anderson’s Bob Marley: Legend December 17, African Superheroes walks, talks and films on the African history of London all year long.


TURN UP ON TIME Some stereotypes are self-reinforcing, if everyone thinks that ‘it’s a black thing so it will start late’, and then they all turn up at 9pm as opposed to 8pm, then the organisers are sometimes forced to delay the start. This is not good for anyone as venues charge by the hour and the organisers are then labelled unprofessional. TELL THE CINEMA STAFF/ ORgANISERS that you really liked the film (if you did) make a point of emailing the managers/organiser and praising them - as few as ten emails can mean extra screenings. BE PREPARED TO TRAVEL Black films struggle to get venues and are not always centrally screened in purpose built cinemas. You might have to go a bit further than usual but in the same way the elders said ‘you have to work twice as hard’ you may have to do that bit extra to see accurate portrayals of black people. UNDERSTAND THE HISTORY OF THE BLACK IMAgE it is not accidental that the images normally shown of black people are negative. in the 1500’s African people were shown in European art as noble, and dignified. in the 1800’s, in order to justify slavery, these images were thrown out and replaced with demeaning stereotypes which still exist in movies, TV shows and computer games. The effects of this bombardment of poverty, disease, criminals, gangsters, booty shaking, drug dealers, prostitutes is devastating. People can get so used to it they think it’s normal and reject actually alternative positive images and stories. WIDEN YOUR TASTES Menelik Shabbaz states that he was exposed to film propaganda but didn’t realise it was propaganda at the time because that is all he saw. The same could be happening to you, if your diet is Hollywood blockbusters. investigate films and topics that you’re unaware of and that don’t initially appeal. We screened a French documentary titled Les Avenue des Allieurs and had a poor turnout for what was a fantastic film about how the French after World War 2 invited qualified black people from the Caribbean to work in Paris to do low-skilled jobs and sent unqualified whites to have the best jobs in Martinique and guadeloupe. Under 25’s will have no clue what Lover’s rock is, may choose not to attend and miss a fantastic piece of their history. DON’T BUY PIRATE DVDs it rips off the filmmaker and means fewer such films will be made. BE AWARE that like changing your diet, the above solutions may be uncomfortable, but good for you.



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A family evening of celebration and inspiration bLaCK youtH aCHIevements

the 3rd

annual awards Ceremony

dinner, showcase and announcement of the

2 011 bya award winners from

6.30 pm - 10.30 pm

to be held on

saturday, november 19th 2011 at

Full details and tickets available on

Jury’s Inn Hotel, Croydon For tickets and all enquiries call or email

07908 258 681

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Boyz n the Hood A Lesson In fatherhood it is often stated that life imitates art, so when i got a phone call from my son’s mother earlier this year asking me to deal with his unruly behaviour, i jumped at the chance to take on Furious Styles’ role. Agreeing to look after my son four nights a week and armed with a list of misdemeanours, i quickly brought the boy home re-enacting the famous scene in Boyz N The Hood when Furious, lays down the rules of the house (giving special emphasis on cleaning the bath). After a short lecture and a big boys chat, we settled down with two cans of Shandy and i threw on Boyz N The Hood. gleefully i sat watching my son’s response to key moments, as he asked question after question, to which i replied, ‘watch the film’. At the end of 90mins the thing that struck me was how poignant and relevant issues in Boyz N The Hood still are today, especially fatherhood. For anyone unfamiliar with this John Singleton coming of age story, the film depicts the struggles of three young black boys and their transitions to manhood. The film introduced us to hard working student Tre Styles (Cuba gooding Jr), football wannabe ricky (Morris Chestnut) his hard-headed gangster brother Doughboy (ice Cube) and a long list of upcoming black Hollywood actors. The film does not shy away from social issues beginning with 10-year-old Tre at a bulletridden bus stop, explaining to his friends how plasma separates from blood. This opening scene illustrates the violent culture surrounding our young characters. it’s no wonder that in the next scene Tre is involved in a classroom fight which results in his suspension and his mother reva (Angela Bassett) sending him to live with his father Furious (Laurence Fishburne) in South Central L.A. There are many powerful scenes in Boyz N The Hood, most notably ricky’s death and Doughboys summary of media coverage, ‘Either they don’t know, don’t show… Or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.’ However for me, the importance of the pivotal moment between reva and Furious is far overlooked. One, without this turning point the film couldn’t exist, and two, with years of negativity about black men and broken families, Twenty years on this scene is still one of the most positive images of black parentage on film. Here we have a black man taking on the responsibility of his son, but also a strong single mother who has the insight and strength to recognize the role a father must play in a boy’s upbringing. it is this positive and disciplined male influence that later separates Tre from the same fates as his two best friends. Throughout the film Furious debates, berates and relates issues of gang violence, politics, unemployment, education, and safe sex to his son. By the end of the film, we are in no doubt that the set of moral standards set for Tre are the defining factors, which see him go off to University. On reflection we can easily imagine him get hitched to Brandi (Nia Long) the girl next door and becoming a great father to his own children. The question we must ask is what will happen to those children like ricky’s son who are left fatherless. Info: DD is a writer and author of Lynch’s road.




ANNIVERSARY The film introduced us to Cuba gooding Jr, Morris Chestnut, Ice Cube and a long list of black Hollywood actors. WORDS: Dominic Armstrong

Charles Thompson, MBE is gearing up for his 7th Screen Nation awards ceremony with a warriorlike tenacity. He is a man in high demand right now, answering a constant stream of phone calls during this interview. The calls are from his all female team organising this year’s Screen Nation Awards, an event Charles started back in 2003. He has given the last ten years of his life to making sure black British talent in film and television is recognised. His work has been acknowledged this year by Buckingham Palace with an MBE and even though he is anti-establishment about the Empire he accepts the letters after his name for all those he’s ever worked with. Now after a decade of highs and lows with the events, he promises the coming fixture will be his last in the UK, as he hands over the reigns and makes plans to take the brand to Africa and return to his love for making movies. Comparing the challenges of staging such an event with going into battle he said: “i always see it as i’m going into battle ,either you’re victorious or you’re defeated and i never get defeated.” Maybe Charles shares his father’s determination. His dad stowed away on a ship to Liverpool from ghana so that he could study Law and come back to the UK legitimately with his family when Charles was four-years-old. He remembers his father as a strict disciplinarian, who once beat him so bad he was left blinded in one eye for a day . His mother on the other hand, he thinks of as a “superior being”. Charles enthused: “She raised us all. She took a lot of shit from my dad and was very humble, but had pride in her children. She made us all achieve great things and she had an inner strength which was something to behold. i always remember one thing she told me was, ‘...always be humble, because humility is one of the most powerful things you can have’.” growing up with his five sisters, his mum and her six sisters has made him most comfortable around groups of females and he somehow magnetises a team of “strong, intelligent, independent women” to run the event. Spending his formative years at one of London’s top grammar schools, where he was one of the first three black pupils to ever attend, Stuart goddard, better known as Adam Ant, was part of his alumni. During his time at school Charles may have taken some flack from the other kids over his ghanaian name, Cheata Koblah, (meaning born on Tuesday, son of a great man), but it was there that he had access to another world mixing with children from well-to-do families and he learned how to fit in. page


Charles thompson

WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN IN BRITISH FILM AND TV? “Trevor McDonald, Idris Elba, Menelik Shabazz, Nonso Anozie, these kind of guys, because what they are promoting is excellence in what they do and that shows in the work that they produce, it’s of the highest order in Britain and globally.

it was a black and white film, eventually bought by Channel 4 and ran for 6 months supporting Quentin Tarantino’s reservoir Dogs and Spike Lee’s Clockers at the cinema, eventually going on to become one of the most succesful cinema shorts in British history.

Having presented the Screen Nation Awards four times, actor and presenter Josie d’Arby is here to shake things up as this year’s creative director.

a magniFiCEnt BLaCK man in BritisH FIlM ANd TElEVISION

In a rare interview, Screen Nation founder Charles Thompson MBE shares the highs, lows, successes and blows of running the UK’s only event dedicated to celebrating the great and the good of the African-Caribbean film and television industry. WORDS: Lorna Cole

By the time he went into a computer programming job at a company where he was the only black man, he was used to that kind of environment. At 23-years-old, at his parents’ wish he became an accountant. This gave him a head for figures, taught him discipline and how to be business-like. Those skills transferred perfectly into being the business end of the Double B sound system he set up with two friends. They took their music to clubs in London’s West End at a time when Jazzie B was making his mark at the Africa Centre in Covent garden with the Soul ii Soul sound system, Trevor Nelson was still Trevor the Madhatter, before House music even existed and Kiss FM wasn’t even a pirate radio station yet.

it was during that time he started hanging out with some of the TV editors that came to the clubs after their late shifts and was inspired to train as an editor himself under the government’s New Deal scheme. After a few years on the job, Charles became known as a man about town in the TV industry, and in 1992 got his break as a producer on short film, The Collector.

Subsequently he made a string of movies with first-time directors, and in 1999 joined forces with renowned director Menelik Shabazz to establish the Black Filmmakers (BFM) international Film Festival. The first BFM Awards dinner in 2001 coincided with the events of 9/11 and became a day Charles would never forget. The first full BFM Awards the next year were organised while Charles lived in his car after his flat mysteriously burned down 3 days before the event and he didn’t want to burden anybody else with his troubles. After a creative difference with Shabazz over the direction of the BFM Festival, a few months later Screen Nation was conceived in Charles’s new empty flat on a half melted computer. in the 8 years since it began, there have been moments that could have spelt the end for Screen Nation. One event had to be postponed suddenly when bank sponsors pulled out their cash at the last minute, at the height of the 2008 banking crisis. Technical difficulties, while star guest Danny glover watched the nightmare unfold, troubled the flawed 2004 ceremony. That year New Nation, a sponsors of the show, named Charles ‘Worst man of the Year’. Charles remained resilient: “People thought i wasn’t going to come back. People thought the brand was dead”.

“We have to acknowledge that they have achieved great things, and I want to show that black men achieve great things.”


“That day taught me everything, actually this was meant to happen to make things even better.” “i understood that it was an important event that was inspirational for people.” Charles’ commitment endures, despite the challenges. “The biggest challenge in running Screen Nation is raising the money and getting the support of the industry, and for them to understand that the agenda they put out to the world about promoting cultural diversity is not reflected in their support of what is effectively the black Baftas, a key event in the showbiz calendar, an industry related event!” “But you know what?, its what we ‘do’ that really matters, and the bigger challenge is to ensure that those who it benefits take the responsibiity for keeping it going and making it stronger” Even though Charles would like to see a day when a separate awards ceremony is not necessary, he believes Screen Nation will always be valued by the sector it serves. As well as a return to his passion as a film producer, Charles is now taking the Screen Nation brand to Africa to build a bridge between the film industry in the UK and the continent where he feels there are more growth opportunities. “in the very near future, i’ll be sitting on a beach in Accra, ghana, taking calls, working on my iPad and only ever flying Business Class when i have to leave. My future is in Africa.”

“People thought I wasn’t going to come back. People thought the brand was dead” page


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BLaCK tV writErs The annual Screen Nation Film and Television Award ceremony celebrates our artistic achievements in film and television. To be honest, if it didn’t who would? And we’re not just celebrating presence and perseverance; we’re celebrating examples of exceptional talent amongst our visible on-screen presence and our auteurs in the world of film. However, there is one category that is missing from our award ceremony, one that is present in every other – Best Screenplay. And there’s a good reason for that; black writers are not getting enough TV credits to support such an award. There are simply not enough of us regularly writing for primetime television.

FiLm and tV FaVoUritEs Listing black British movies released in 2011, which are now more commonly described as Urban movies, cannot pass without mention of ‘Anuvahood’, one of the hit British movies of the year so far. Styled as a tongue in cheek play on the ‘hood’ series of films and created by Screen Nation and Bafta winning actor/director Adam Deacon, it could be said that Anuvahood received a rapturous response in cinemas, and for those who missed it, there is now the opportunity to catch it on DVD. Previous British urban movies like Kidulthood and Adulthood which established the genre, and the alarming titled Shank, have mostly examined gang culture and the idea of survival amongst young black men. Anuvahood is a fresh comedic spin on these themes.

The film’s premiere at the Leicester Square Empire in late spring was packed with eager viewers of all ethnic backgrounds. it clearly managed to capture the attention of not only the black community, but also the wider urban white and ethnic community, which could largely be attributed to the laidback nature of the movie. Brightly coloured and refusing to take itself seriously, the movie features many recognisable real-life situations for young people, and it’s probable that the wider urban community found it’s carefree approach appealing, as opposed to the edgy, hostile narratives of movies such as ‘Shank’.

Anuvahood was partially debut directed and written by Adam Deacon, the British actor and rapper who is no stranger to the camera and

who has worked alongside Noel Clarke on all his films. With a multitude of faces familiar to the broad urban and black community such as Richard Blackwood, Eddie Kadi, Ashley Walters and Tulisa from Ndubz, Anuvahood has caught the zeitgeist of the moment and become a milestone for what can broadly be viewed as modern black British cinema. This is due not to the presence of themes rendered predictable by a number of recent urban/black British films, but by the very fact that Anuvahood successfully addresses the interests and concerns of a mixture of ethnic groups, by virtue of its youthful humour and vibrant storyline.

WORDS: Ivy Kodjovi


Two recent articles features in The Stage highlighted the exodus of black British and British Asian acting talent to America. One of the reasons quoted by those interviewed suggested that the dearth of leading roles for black actors is due to the fact that white writers write most drama. So why don’t we have any black British writers getting regular and consistent access to mainstream airtime? When was the last time you saw an original television drama series conceived and written by a black British writer? The answer to the second question is, Michael Abbensetts’ Empire Road (BBC 1978 -1979). Although, there was an adaptation of Patrick Augustus’ Baby Father (BBC 2001-2002), which also ran for two series. And there has been the occasional single drama, such as, Sharon Foster’s Shoot the Messenger (BBC 2006). However, the answer to the first question is more complex. At root, it comes down to issues of blocked access and limited opportunities. Many white writers who go on to produce seminal works honed their craft in soaps, continuing drama and returning dramas, such as Paul Abbott on iTV’s Coronation Street, or Jimmy Mcgovern on Channel 4’s, Brookside. Yet, black British writers experience great difficulty getting a regular gig on a soap or continuing drama, and the fact



an endangered species ? is that without this kind of experience we are not trusted to write original series and serials. in fact, when the BBC’s recent adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island was up for grabs, it was said that there was no black British writer with the requisite experience to bring this story to the small screen, and so the ‘honour’ went to Paula Milne. So black British writers are stuck in a catch 22 situation: we can’t get a regular gig on one of the soaps or continuing dramas, and so we don’t have the experience to be trusted to write an original drama series or serial. So the representation of the black British experience is left in the hands of white writers and producers for whom black equals depravation, violence and drugs. Where are our hard working, middleclass families? And why don’t we see them, or more accurately, us, on our screens? Talk to any black British writer today and you’ll hear a familiar story. From the gatekeeper level of script reader right through to development executives and commissioners, when we present our work for consideration the feedback we get consists of phrases such as, “i can’t see the culture reflected accurately here.” Although, my personal favourite occurred when i was working with a development executive on a family comedy-drama series called Stately Homies, about a little boy who had won his family a year living in a stately home, complete with a year at a good private school. i was told by the executive that it was,

WORDS: Carol Russell and i quote, “An aspiration too far.” When i tried explaining that for these parents to take themselves and their children from everything they knew, they’d have to have a compelling reason to do so, and for the black people i knew, the opportunity for their children to get a good education was it, i was told “Private schools aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.” is there a solution to this problem? i believe there is. We pay our TV license fees. We pay subscriptions to Sky every month. So it is up to us to keep knocking on the door demanding the right to tell our own stories in an authentic manner. My contribution is to launch a new initiative, Fresh Voices: The Real Deal, a series of staged readings of television scripts from experienced black British writers for an invited industry audience. The first event takes place on 18th November 2011 at BAFTA, and has been supported financially by the BBC. We need to actively participate in ensuring that the largely white gatekeepers, agents, development executives and commissioners widen their perspectives and deepen their knowledge and understanding of black British culture, and remind them that the black finance managers, accountants and secretaries working around them are not going home to sink estates to light up crack pipes, or sell their bodies.

Info: page


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screen nation




Hollywood’s newest Brit intake and Screen Nation award winner Aml Ameen shares his thoughts on what Screen Nation means to him.... “i must begin with why the Screen Nation Awards have been important to me. i first heard of the Awards in 2006 when i was nominated as an Emerging Talent for my performance in Kidulthood. On that night i not only had the opportunity to be amongst talents and pioneers that i’d had admired for years, but to be one of the new talents being recognised. As a young actor coming up you dream of a day, when your peers will respect your work, that you will be welcomed and held in the same esteem you have for them. in 2007 that night came for me when i won Best TV actor for The Bill, my heart was warmed, my name and work celebrated, and it served as a real source of pride for me, to be called an award winning actor (at least for that night). i would not have yet achieved that in my career yet, had it not been for this award. The Screen Nation Awards has successfully celebrated excellent (black) talent, for years giving its nominees, award winners, and attendees a sense of honour and pride, a night where we gather in our best attire, and smiles, a night of glamour for the black community, a night of unity, a platform to shine. For us in the business it’s a chance to drink and gather with old friends, and be inspired by new ones. i welcome the Screen Nation Awards back, our industry has seen much success since it’s brief absence, and i feel privileged to be one of the young talents from my generation flying the flag Stateside, and my hope for the future of the awards, is that it connects with the US more, not as a crutch depending on American backing, but for it

“the screen nation awards is ours, let’s nurture, support, and help it grow as we do” page


to be an award show recognised worldwide. The Screen Nation Awards is ours, let’s nurture, support, and help it grow as we do. Here’s to another great year.” Info: You can catch Aml Ameen in NBC drama ‘Harry’s Law’ on the Universal Channel (Sky 113) from October 10th.

SCREEN NATION Re warding E xcellence – C e l e br at i n g D i v e r s i t y

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Filmmaker wayne g saunders reveals his favourite things Prolific filmmaker and Screen Nation

Photo above left by Denise g Saunders

nominee Wayne gordon Saunders is director of film, television and video production company Boss Crowns.

The young entrepreneurial filmmaker, producer and writer hails from south east London, and has been making innovative, quality films since 1999 that celebrate the diversity of communities in Britain and around the globe and the challenges the youth of today face on a daily basis. He is passionate about his work and gives his own time to run workshops, film and drama schools. He mentors “disadvantaged” children and uses film as his tool for teaching. He is a Production Base award winner for the category ‘Beyond the Call of Duty’ and an Enterprising Young Brits Award, in the ‘Helping Hand’ category. What’s your favourite book? No favourite book but i’m currently reading Spike Lee’s “That’s My Story and i’m sticking to it”. What’s your most inspirational quote? “if you haven’t confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started” – Marcus garvey. Tell us about your home life. i live with my wife and son What jobs have you done in the past? Decorating for a short time. What are your top three films? Do the right Thing, The Harder they Come and Boyz n the Hood. If you didn’t make films what was your alternative career choice? radio DJ, sports personality or community lawyer…

What is your most memorable moment as a filmmaker? The first time i made a film and screened it. Also being presented with an award by fellow filmmaker ishmahil Blagrove at the Portobello film festival. ishmahil wanted to acknowledge a fellow filmmaker also in the field - this was an inspirational moment for me that will not be forgotten. How do you unwind? Having fun, spending time with my family, gardening, running and exercising. Who is the Love of your life? My Wife and son then it’s the creativity.

WORDS: Sophia A Jackson

WHO ARE THE MAgNIFICENT BLACK MEN IN BRITISH FILM AND TV? “All the ones that have in same way or other reached out to help the next generation. Any black man that

What is your most prized possession? My family and life.

has forgotten about self (me, me, me) and taken time

What did your parents want you to do when you were growing up? They always encouraged me to do whatever i enjoyed.

are usually shut. These are the magnificent black

to mentor and nurture talent so they can be inspiration to others and helped to kick off some doors that men of the British film and television industry.”


Do you feel your best is yet to come? Definitely, i am still perfecting my craft and the more films i make the better i get. Twitter /Facebook/Linked In – how do you feel about social media? Social media is good for business promotion and sharing certain information with friends and family but i draw the line when it comes to disclosing personal information especially where my family is concerned. What do the Screen Nation awards mean to you? Networking, a good meeting point and acknowledgment of talents. Catch Wayne’s movie, ‘The Village’, a fourminute short, filmed on the island of Aruba, at Africa in the Picture Film Festival in Holland, October 2011 page


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info: Veranda, 30 Acre Lane, Brixton, London SW2 WORDS: Lorna Cole



| Screen Nation rating:

g g g g

restaurant, cocktail bar and art gallery

from local painters and big, evocative black and white photos, most of which have already been sold, making room for new exhibits.

The gourmet Oxtail fell off the bone. it’s braised with thyme, carrots, butter beans and pearl onions.

The soulful soundtrack and background chitchat make you feel at ease.

You really taste the quality of all the ingredients and the dumpling on the side was crispy and fresh.

The name takes your mind to sitting on a wooden porch on a sunny distant island.

i’m told the dancefloor fills pretty quickly after dinner service at the weekend, when the lights come down and the volume goes up.

The Veranda’s warm hues invite you in and the contemporary Caribbean cooking, cocktails and art gallery will keep you there.

The venue already has a good reputation for being a one-stop spot for stylish celebrations.

To manager, Wayne McEwan, the veranda, in the Caribbean, is the place where ‘a whole heap-atings a gwan’, and the reason the venue was given the name. Wayne and the rest of the cosmopolitan staff share a camaraderie that feeds the friendly atmosphere.

The menu manages to be simultaneously concise and varied.

The Herb Encrusted Jerk Chicken Breast is stuffed with asparagus, candied plantain, bell pepper and callaloo, served on potato and yam rosti, plantain caviar and jerk jus.

Non-meat eaters are well considered, with the ital starter platter and an interesting range of veggie mains.

The delightful rum and raisin mini cheesecake with a petite pot of pistachio ice cream sealed the tasted buds. This is Caribbean cuisine for the 21st century. i always have this thing about going to Caribbean restaurants, that i could have done it better at home, but not at the Veranda.

The night began with a warm greeting and attentive service, even before they had any idea we were on a scrutiny mission. A great start.

The food has that homely taste you want from Caribbean home cooking, but the twist comes in the presentation.

Still in their first year at The Veranda, the team bring with them years of experience running top Soho bars and restaurants. Just around the corner from Brixton tube station, it’s a great meeting place. You can sit on comfy couches outside quaffing cocktails on the terrace, entertained by Acre Lane’s passers-by. Smokers will be pleased. The list of 80 cocktails could be south London’s most extensive. With all that choice though, we couldn’t decide, so the charming ‘Mixologist’ made up an exquisite concoction on the spot, based on our likes. The walls are packed with well picked art, everything complimentary to the cultured modern vibe. Canvasses by art students in ghana have been imported, there are street style-inspired pieces page


Mash potato, fried plantain and rice and peas sides were plentiful and flavourful.

The food was stacked on exotic looking coulis and garnished with wafer thin cassava as if prepared by a Michelin star chef. We started with the Ackee and Saltfish Money Bags. The elements are well balanced and blended, parceled in filo pastry. The girls at the table next to us were silenced with envy when they saw our king prawns, the size of a giant’s fist, fried in Jamaican rum and cane sugar, served with a spicy mango and pepper salsa. Superb service. We were recommended wines with the food that were a perfect match. The timing of the courses was on point; there was never a moment we felt we’d been kept waiting too long.

Testament to the top time we had; we arrived early and left as the staff were departing. Thank goodness i wore an outfit with an elasticated waist. Lucky for me i’m local. i wonder how long it will take me to work my way through the whole menu..... Tel. 07903 824 533

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WORDS: Amica Anselm

Cy grant image:

SCREEN lEGACIES Lena Horne (June 30 1917 - May 9 2010) Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was 92 when she died from heart failure. The American, actress, singer, dancer and civil rights activist was born in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Edna Scottron and Edward “Teddy” Horne. Horne was known as a songstress with an unassailable sense of rhythm and a liberal sense of style. A hard-working actress who had performed in nightclubs since 1941, she battled continuosly with racism, and resisted playing both demeaning roles and studio attempts to make her appear darker than she really was. in 1943 she was approached by Metro goldwyn Mayer (MgM) and became one of the first black performers to sign a long-term contract with a major Hollywood studio. As an actress, Horne struggled to gain lead roles due to the re-editing deemed necessary when American theatres refused to air films with black performers.

Cy grant (November 8 1919 - February 13 2010) Cy grant, who departed aged 90 after a brief illness, was one of seven children born in guyana to a Moravian minister father and his mother – a music teacher. grant married once and had four children. He lived a full life, serving as a flight lieutenant in the royal Air Force during the Second World War, which resulted in him being shot down and spending two years as a POW. Subsequent to the war, he qualified as a barrister but went on to become an actor on stage and in film. Facing increasing difficulty with his acting career due to the limited roles for black people at the time, grant’s ironically became the first black face to be seen regularly on British television, singing the news on the BBC Tonight programme of the 1950s, which was a huge accomplishment.

With the odds stacked against her, Horne managed to appear in a number of MgM musicals including Cabin in the Sky (1943) which was a notable exception to the re-editing rule due to her stand-alone scenes. Unsurprisingly, Horne developed a left-leaning political view which got her blacklisted in the 1950s, ultimately ending her movie career and shifting her focus to television and music. During the World War ii, Horne was involved with the Civil rights movement and refused to perform for segregated audiences. She once famously protested against playing for german POWs, by walking off stage and performing to the black servicemen who were seated at the back.

During the 1970s, grant and John Mapondera founded The Drum Arts Centre, where grant was to be appointed director of Concord Multicultural Festivals in the early 1980s. Published four times, his latter work included poetry and Blackness and The Dreaming Soul (2007), an autobiography-cum-cultural analysis of the dualistic nature of western civilization, which he felt had led to our estrangement from the natural world.

During the 1950’s, Horne performed for white audiences and worked in Jamaica in 1957. in total, Horne appeared in 15 films and returned to Broadway in 1981 in a one woman show. Lena Horne had two children, a daughter, gail, and a son, Edwin, who predeceased her.

He was made an Honorary fellow of roehampton University in 1997, and a member of the Scientific and Medical Network in 2001. in 2008 he was instrumental in setting up an online archive to trace and commemorate Caribbean aircrew from World War ii.

B-L-A-C-K – A poem by georgina Ramsay for Black History Month B-L-A-C-K That’s what i am, wouldn’t have it any other way Today we are so used to living in a world With freedom for man, woman, boy and girl Yet as we know this wasn’t always the case, it has been a long struggle for freedom for our race



A month each year of commemoration Against what was for some a lifetime of discrimination, How will that ever truly suffice, For those who paid the ultimate price? Some names are famous, some we may never know, What will remain the same is what we will always owe,

Alaina Hall (November 10 1946 – December 17 ‘09) Alaina reed Hall, or “Tiny”, was born Bernice ruth reed in 1946. in 2009, she tragically lost her two-year battle with breast cancer at 63-years-old. reed bore two children during her first marriage, which ended in divorce, and was later widowed by second husband Kevin Peter Hall. She later went on to marry Tamim Amini in 2008, for just over a year before she died. A native of Springfield, Ohio, and a graduate of South High (1964), reed appeared as a Jet Magazine cover girl, and played Olivia robinson on Sesame Street from 1976 to 1988, appearing in the hugely popular Christmas Eve specials. She also starred in spin-off movies Don’t Eat the Pictures (1983) and Follow That Bird (1985). Following her marriage to fellow 277 star Kevin Peter Hall in 1989, reed was professionally known as Alaina reed Hall. in 1985, reed played landlady rose opposite Marla gibbs in the sitcom, which was taped in California. Sesame Street, by contrast, was taped in New York, and reed continued to work on both shows until the 1990’s when she became known for other films, commercials, television work and cartoons. From 1992, Hall appeared in approximately 17 shows, including Herman’s Head and Friends, as well as News radio, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and the film Cruel intentions.

Tomorrow is looking up, due to our brothers’ and sisters’ plight So it is our duty to grab hold of every opportunity in sight B-L-A-C-K That’s what i am, wouldn’t have it any other way it’s who i am, not who i am trying to be i am black, i am beautiful, i am free.

© Afridiziak

Screen Nation Awards Souvenir Brochure 2010/11  

The Souvenir Brochure from the 7th Screen Nation Film & TV Awards 2010/11 aka the 'Black Baftas' held in London on Sun 16 Oct 2011 at the in...

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