Image for Black Histories on Film

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 2021, GFT has partnered with the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) to deliver an in-depth and thought-provoking Black Histories on Film programme.

Each Monday in October will feature a Black Histories on Film event. Three film screenings with Black-led panel discussions will be 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.

Join us for one-off screenings of: Belle, a rare example of a British costume drama with a Black female lead, directed by Amma Asante; ‘banned in its day’, hard-hitting 1970s documentary Blacks Britannica on racism and resistance in Britain; and 2021 American biographical drama Judas and the Black Messiah directed by Shaka King which depicts the events in late-1960’s Chicago that led to the betrayal and assassination of Fred Hampton.

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.


The Programme


Belle + panel discussion

Monday 4 October, 17.45

All tickets £6.50

Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a navy admiral, was raised by her aristocratic great-uncle and his wife in eighteenth century England. A rare example of a British costume drama with a Black female lead, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and directed by BAFTA award-winning writer and director, Amma Asante who delivers pointed education on slavery in this true story of Britain's first Black aristocrat.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion*. Reflecting on what Belle represents to us today, the guest panel will discuss Black experience of class and the significance of Black expression and representation.

This screening will be Captioned, and the introduction and post-film panel discussion will be BSL interpreted and Live Captioned, making the event accessible to our D/deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences.

Panel: *Further guests to be announced.

Shantel George is Lecturer in Transatlantic Slavery at the University of Glasgow. Shantel has been awarded fellowships at the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, and the John Carter Brown Library for her second project on the global history of the African kola nut.

Graham Campbell is Chair of Africa in Motion Film Festival board of Trustees and has been an elected member of Glasgow City Council in May 2017. He is also a cultural performer and producer in dub poetry and reggae calypso and ska music.


Blacks Britannica + panel discussion

Monday 11 October, 18.00

All tickets £6.50

Made in 1978, David Koff’s insurrectionary film Blacks Britannica was banned in its day, labelled dangerous, untrue, and extreme. This hard-hitting documentary on racism and resistance in Britain was immediately subjected to suppression, censorship and a US court battle that lasted more than three years. Made in the heat of 1970s militant Black British anti-racist struggle, it discusses the history of Black people in Britain since the era of colonialism, which led to mass migration to the UK. In a time in which the film describes the Black community as being 'the new underclass' of the British working class, Blacks Britannica is a significant entry into the canon of documentations of the lives of Black People in Britain. This screening will be of the authorised version, digitally remastered in 2008.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion*. Reflecting on the significance of Blacks Britannica within a Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and human-rights context, the guest panel will discuss Black British experience and the impacts of racism.

Panel: *Further guest speakers to be announced.

Graham Campbell is Chair of Africa in Motion Film Festival board of Trustees and has been an elected member of Glasgow City Council since May 2017. He is also a cultural performer and producer in dub poetry, reggae calypso and ska music.


Judas and the Black Messiah + panel discussion

Monday 18 October, 19.45

All tickets £6.50

Judas and the Black Messiah is a 2021 American biographical drama film directed by Shaka King depicting events taking place in late-1960’s Chicago that led to the betrayal and assassination of Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. When offered a plea deal by the FBI, William O'Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) becomes an informant and infiltrates the Illinois chapter to gather intelligence on Fred Hampton.

This screening will be followed by a panel discussion*. Reflecting on what Judas and the Black Messiah represents in 21st Century Britain, the guest panel will discuss Black radicalism in America and Black activism in the UK.

Panel: *Further guest speakers to be announced.

Christopher D. Reid is an author and freelance writer with degrees in Political Science and Philosophy. He is currently working on a documentary that chronicles the history of black radicalism in America.

Roza Salih is an original Glasgow Girl, politician and human rights activist. Roza co-founded Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan and worked with the Scottish Refugee Council and the Education Strategy Commission to establish funding from Strathclyde University for scholarships specifically for asylum seekers. Earlier in 2021, Roza started work as a constituency assistant for Glasgow South West MP Chris Stephens.


Black British Cinema: Routes of Representation (public industry session)

Monday 25 October, 19.00

All tickets £2

To complement our Black History Month programme, join us for a public industry session exploring the history of Black cinema in the UK. We'll be joined by local filmmakers including Lorna King and Stewart Kyasimire, along with academics, to discuss issues of access and representation in front of and behind the camera. Our panel* will also touch on how these issues relate to the films in our Black Histories on Film programme, and what support is available for new Black filmmakers working in the UK today.

Panel: *Panel speakers to be announced


This programme is 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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Films in this Season

Image for Belle + panel discussion (12A)
4 October

Belle + panel discussion (12A)

Directed by BAFTA award-winning writer and director Amma Asante, who delivers a pointed education on slavery in this true story of Britain's first Black aristocrat.

Image for Black British Cinema: Routes of Representation (public industry session) (N/C 15+)
25 October

Black British Cinema: Routes of Representation (public industry session) (N/C 15+)

Join us for a panel discussion exploring the history of Black cinema in the UK.

Image for Blacks Britannica + panel discussion (N/C 15+)
11 October

Blacks Britannica + panel discussion (N/C 15+)

This hard-hitting documentary on racism and resistance in Britain was banned on its release in 1978 and subjected to suppression, censorship and a US court battle.

Image for Judas and the Black Messiah + panel discussion (15)
18 October

Judas and the Black Messiah + panel discussion (15)

Oscar-winning drama about the real events of 1960s Chicago when the FBI infiltrated the Black Panther chapter to orchestrate the assassination of its charismatic leader.

All Monday to Friday shows before 5pm have capacity capped at 50% (unless otherwise stated). All other screenings have full unlimited seating capacity (unless otherwise stated).

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