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Welcome To

Glasgow Film Festival will this year feature Welcome To, a programme of films and events, with a focus on Black Scottish films, filmmakers and history, from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 March. Programmed by Tomiwa Folorunso and Natasha Ruwona.

"Our strand ‘Welcome To’ aims to challenge the belief that black people are not/can not be present in Scotland - temporally, metaphorically or ancestrally.  This film programme’s focus is one part of an attempt to collate some of the many contributions made by Black people in Scotland, as well as bringing to the forefront the presences of those who have and do walk the land. 

Whilst Natasha has led on the film curation, Tomiwa has led on the programme of events. We realised very quickly that although we would love to programme a full strand featuring the work of Black Scottish filmmakers or films made in Scotland by Black filmmakers, that wasn’t necessarily possible. So, we decided to celebrate the work that does exist, commission and collaborate with Black artists and creatives working in Scotland, and work with the GFF Industry team to open these conversations to both the industry and the public."

Words by Tomiwa Folorunso and Natasha Ruwona. 

Welcome To: A Focus on Black Women Filmmakers

The under acknowledged work of Black British Female directors and producers continues to inform the limited ways in which the landscape of film is curated. This part of the strand is an offering of these works that sits within a Scottish context, whether through origin, setting and/or spatial memory.

Welcome To: Lineages of the Landscape 

A series of documentaries that serve as an archive of Scottish Black history, with themes of movement, journeys and (im)permanence that flow throughout. 

The Programmers

Tomiwa Folorunso

Tomiwa Folorunso is an Edinburgh-raised, Brussels-based writer, academic and producer. Tomiwa has written for The Herald and The National. She has been published in Imagined Spaces by The Voyage Out Press, and Monstrous Regiment’s So Hormonal. Tomiwa was the Black Ballad regional editor for Scotland and Fringe of Colour Films’ sub-editor, and writes traditional features and creative non-fiction. Tomiwa is currently studying a masters in Cultural Studies at KU Leuven, Belgium, and her thesis explores the experience of contemporary Nigerian diaspora and their relationship with their homeland. Tomiwa managed the social media channels for the UK release of Clemency and co-ordinated the Glasgow grassroots marketing, co-producing a series of events to support the release of Queen & Slim. In 2020, Tomiwa presented the Radio 4 documentary, The Art of Now: Black and Creative in Scotland and #OurPlanetMatters for the BBC. Tomiwa is an experienced event host and chair, working with Edinburgh International Book Festival and Glasgow Women’s Library.  Tomiwa has co-facilitated, co-created and project managed initiatives with both The Young Women’s Movement and the Empower Project.

Natasha Ruwona

Natasha Thembiso Ruwona is a Scottish-Zimbabwean artist, researcher and programmer.  They are interested in Afrofuturist storytelling through the poetics of the landscape, working across various media including: digital performance, film, DJ-ing and writing. Their current project ‘Black Geographies, Ecologies and Spatial Practice’ is an exploration of space, place and the climate as related to Black identities and histories.  Natasha is interested in different forms of magic and is in particular drawn to the power of the moon.

Natasha completed a curatorship for Africa in Motion Film Festival 2019 and was selected as Film Hub Scotland's New Promoter for Glasgow Short Film Festival's 2020 edition. They are a Project Coordinator for UncoverED, Assistant Producer for Claricia Parinussa, a Committee Member for Rhubaba, and a Board Member of the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow.

As per Scottish Government restrictions, seats available for all shows from 27 December to 23 January will be capped to meet the 1m social distancing requirement.

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