Black Histories on Film

Glasgow is the most multicultural region in Scotland, with people from a diverse range of nationalities, ethnicities and religions calling the city home. Black History Month has been celebrated in Scotland since 2001. For October 2021, GFT partnered with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) to deliver an in-depth and provoking Black Histories on Film programme.

Each Monday in October 2021 featured a Black Histories on Film event. Three film screenings with Black-led panel discussions were rounded off with an industry panel event exploring the history of Black cinema in the UK and the issues of access and representation in front of and behind the camera.

Screening events featured: Belle, a rare example of a British costume drama with a Black female lead and directed by Amma Asante; ‘banned in its day’, hard-hitting documentary Blacks Britannica on racism and resistance in Britain; and 2021 American biographical drama film Judas and the Black Messiah directed by Shaka King depicting events taking place in late-1960’s Chicago that led to the betrayal and assassination of Fred Hampton.

  • Black Histories on Film in partnership with CRER was our Black History Month programme this October, funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery via the BFI. Aligned with GFT’s Black Lives Matter commitment and audience development priorities of Young People/Black and POC Audiences. BHOF was a great success during a difficult time for the business and audiences.

Over four events, the Black Histories on Film programme delivered:

  • 284 admissions.
  • 91% Black and 9% People of colour guest panel speakers.
  • Three specialised films.
  • A D/deaf and Hard of Hearing accessible event with BSL interpretation and live speech to text on-screen.
  • A screening of a documentary film never publicly shown in Scotland.
  • New local BIPOC relationships (organisational and individual) are established.

Black Histories on Film outcomes: (audience survey results)

  • 80% of respondents aged between 20-69 were Black; Black African; Black Caribbean; Black British.
  • The programme provided the opportunity to socialise with 100% of respondents feeling welcomed at GFT and left feeling that they had a ‘very good’ experience.
  • 33% of respondents were introduced to new types of film.
  • 89% of respondents were left inspired to watch more films like the one/s they had seen at GFT and had their awareness positively increased about people’s lives and experiences that are different from their own.
  • 100% of respondents felt that the programme helped them think about themselves, where they live or where they are from.
  • 100% of respondents felt that the programme deepened their understanding of the art and power of film.

'The Black Histories on Film programme was an exciting programme of events to be involved with. In coordinating and developing the programme I found colleagues at the GFT to be incredibly supportive and helpful in putting the season together. It was fantastic to see such well attended events and screenings throughout October. I look forward to working with the GFT again in the future and hopefully for Black History Month Scotland 2022. Thank you to everyone at the GFT for their support of Black History Month Scotland 2021, in particular Jodie Wilkinson (Public Engagement Coordinator),' Nelson Cummins, Communities and Campaigns Officer, Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER).

GFT is very thankful to our programme partner CRER and all of the filmmakers, panellists and audiences who supported the programme.

Glasgow Film must belong to and reflect our whole community. We want our engagement to extend to everyone and to reflect both our city and our wider society, in ways that makes no-one feel excluded, marginalised or discriminated against. The Black Histories on Film programme centres Black on and off-screen representation, focuses on stories of those who have been marginalised, and provides a space for reaction and reflection on necessary conversations.

To read about Glasgow Film’s ongoing Black Lives Matter commitments click here.

This programme was supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI.

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