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New Report Considers Building A Commercially Viable Black Segment Of The UK Film Industry

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 10, 2013 at 2:11PM

In case you haven't noticed, by the influx of black British talent into the USA, while we here in America lament the lack of opportunities and representation of black people in film and TV, it's far worse in the UK for black British talent.
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WHY IS THE UK NOT EXPLOITING ALL ITS TALENT & ALL ITS OPPORTUNITIES IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?

In case you haven't noticed, by the influx of black British talent into the USA, while we here in America lament the lack of opportunities and representation of black people in film and TV, it's far worse in the UK for black British talent.

We've shared statements from a few black British actors and filmmakers on the matter, over the last couple of years, and to facilitate the continuing conversation, Talking Drum Entertainment, a UK-based production and distribution company dedicated to the development and release of black films in the UK, has just published a report titled Building A Commercially Viable Black Segment Of The UK Film Industry.

Talking Drum states its objective is, in part, to challenge the government through the British Film Institute (BFI) to formulate and implement polices that will aid in the development of a Black sector of the UK film industry, that has, up until now, been largely ignored. 

Highlights in the report include:

- A UK black film industry could contribute £180m a year to UK GDP.

£144m pounds in taxation revenue could flow into the UK treasury from a Black film sector.

- Between 8,000-15,000 jobs could be created directly and indirectly for the UK economy.

- Huge export potential can be very quickly unlocked from countries like the USA, Nigeria, South Africa, Jamaica and Brazil to name a few.

- Cultural life in the UK will be significantly enhanced if more UK black films are made as they will positively contribute to the building of understanding and creating harmony within the UK’s diverse ethnic population.

Talking Drum adds:

There is no doubt that the UK has one of the most admired film industries in the world, producing world class films like The King’s Speech, Skyfall, Slumdog Millionaire, Harry Potter, Johnny English to name a few yet for whatever reasons, the film industry has not been able to do what the music industry has been doing for decades and that is to tap into the talents and global market appeal that comes from its 4 million strong Black population.

Sounds like a somewhat familiar claim made here in the USA, doesn't it? 

The report hopes to demonstrate that, not only is there scope to develop a black segment of the UK film industry, but it can also be built on sound commercial foundations so it contributes significantly to the continuing success of the UK film industry and ultimately the UK economy in terms of GDP, employment, taxation, investment and exports.

Essentially, it makes a case for the claim presented, asking why the UK film industry isn't exploiting all its talent and available opportunities.

To check out the full report, click HERE to download the 20-page PDF file.

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