Black Films and White Power: 10 Years of African Odysseys

Sat 10 February 2018 18:00 – 20:30

Black Films and White Power: The African Odysseys story

To highlight the ten-year history of the African Odysseys film programme, we review facts and figures as to why Black films have a hard time being produced, distributed and screened; and the impact on communities around the world. This will be an in-depth, interactive lecture. It will feature elements from the upcoming 6-week course (The best of Ten years of Afrcan Odysseys) and draw on a decade of programming experience. It will cover:

· The Hayes Code: How America policed the black image
· Civil Rights and the moving image the untold story
· Blaxploitation good or bad?
· How Black films saved studios but didn’t get the credit
· Marcus Garvey, cinema and the colonies
· Government agencies and their role in suppressing independent movie production
· How to ban a film without appearing to ban it
· ‘We don’t want a full house of black people even if it will make us money’ with proof

NB. This free talk will follow a paid screening of Black Skin, White Masks: The Frantz Fanon story plus Q&A at 2-5pm on the same day. These events launch the Ten Years of African Odysseys 6 week course which begins with the Frantz Fanon screening and continues with 2 hour sessions, 6.30-8.30 pm every Thursday from 15th February to 22 March. Please note The Fanon film and the course itself cannot be booked or paid for until January 2018.

Course Details and outline

This 6-week course will present the best films, ideas, Q&A, talks, interviews, and knowledge of ten years of African/Caribbean film programming at the BFI Southbank. Distilled into six interactive learning sessions, the course will feature various African Odysseys contributors, special guest’s, films clips, quizzes and mini lectures.

Session 1 African Odysseys top 40 films (and where to get them) Part 1 of 2 sessions.: With monthly screenings over a decade many people have missed some of the vast array of brilliant films we have screened. This presentation will show trailers and clips of the 40 best films we’ve screened plus relevant commentary and tips on how to access.

Session 2 Black films don’t sell? Exploding the myth. For decades, white producers have promoted the idea that films with black casts don’t perform well and therefore should not be made. We go right back to the 70’s to show how the opposite is true and why this falsehood is maintained with numerous UK and US examples.

Session 3 An evening with Charlie Phillips and friends. Mr Phillips is a world famous photographer, heritage consultant and film fan. In this session, we will show revolutionary clips of films from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s and Charlie will fill in the context of the politics of the day and the effect of the film on the community. Clips include Shaft, Sankofa, Sweet Sweetback, Watermelon Man, Goodbye Uncle Tom, Brazil, Abolition, Three the Hard Way

Session 4 African Odysseys top 40 films (and where to get them) Part 2: with monthly screenings over a decade many people are unaware of the vast array of brilliant films we have screened. This presentation to consist of trailers and clips of the 40 best films we’ve screened plus relevant commentary and tips on how to access.

Session 5 The Conspiracy to destroy positive black films: A list and examples of obvious and invisible obstacles black films face. How the BBFC rating system discriminates against African films, etc

Session 6 The best of Ten Years of African Odysseys Q and As Selected outtakes of recorded Q and A’s and talks over the last ten years.Plus the African,French and Caribbean perspective

2018: 70 years of Windrush, 100 years of Women having the vote, 100 years since the end of World War 1, 50 years since MLK was assassinated.60 Years since the Notting Hill Racist Riots. 50 Years since the police killing of David Oluwale.

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