'I'm British But... Black British Filmmakers Speak!' Screening Series This Weekend In NYC
Photo Credit: S & A

'I'm British But... Black British Filmmakers Speak!' Screening Series This Weekend In NYC


For those of you in New York, or who will be in New York this weekend… a selection of fiction and non-fiction films in the lineup – some we’ve covered in the past, like David Oyelowo and Nikki Amuka-Bird in Shoot The Messenger and Menelik Shabazz’s ode to Lover’s Rock, aptly titled The Story Of Lover’s Rock; and others we haven’t, like A Family Called Abrew and Time and Judgement.

The full lineup, including screening dates and times, locations, and ticket prices, follows below:

I’M BRITISH BUT… BLACK BRITISH FILMMAKERS SPEAK! is a film series of fictions and documentaries that explore the challenges faced by People of African descent in the UK.

The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) continues its exploration of the presence of Black people in Europe through films. After France, ADIFF now turns to the UK. The black British population has increased from 1.1 million to over 1.8 million from 2001 to 2011, a growth of 40%. It now forms around 3.3% of the UK’s population. Discover the Black British experience through 5 films that span 4 decades of Black presence in the UK.

WHEN: April 26 –  28, 2013

WHERE: Teachers College, Columbia University.

525 W 120th St. – 263 Macy

note: ID required to enter bldg

Ticket Prices

6 PM Friday Screening: FREE

Weekend pass $30; Day pass $20;

General $11 per show.  $9 std/seniors.

All screenings Free with valid TC ID

Get your tickets here 



This documentary profiles a fascinating family that has been based in Scotland since the end of the 19th century. It also traces the history of people of African descent living in Europe before the great migrations of the 1950s and 1960s. The Abrew family worked in Vaudeville, theatre, and later, in film made throughout Europe where they faced racial discrimination and exoticization as performers for primarily white audiences. Interviews, family photographs and archival footage weave a poignant story of the endurance and solidarity of a growing Black community in an isolating and hostile land.


The illusions being burnt are those of Pat Williams (Cassie McFarlane), an attractive 22-year old Black girl with a steady clerical job, her own little flat in West London, and the aim of settling down to a comfortable lower-middle class married life with Mr. Right. She is shaken out of this dream by Del, a feckless, disgruntled macho type (played with sullen charm by one of UK’s best Black actors, Victor Romero), who moves in with her uninvited. 

Menelik Shabazz, 1981, 107mins

Now a classic film in the UK, BURNING AN ILLUSION, won The 2011 Classic Movie Award in its 30th anniversary year at the 7th Annual SCREEN NATION AWARDS 2011. Hosted by Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood and featuring all your favorite black stars from UK film and television.   


To mark the conclusion of their “Third World Week” celebration, a cricket team in a small English village invites a West Indian cricket team from South London to a charity game. “Obviously, the possibilities, both comic and serious, in this cultural exchange are endless, and the filmmakers seem not to have missed any of them.” – Los Angeles Times.

Horace Ove, 1986, 100mins



Time and Judgement presents an overview of the African Liberation Movement that spans a period of 400 hundred years. Through extensive footage of the movement in the Caribbean, Africa, America and Europe, the viewer is exposed to the critical political analysis of leaders such as: 

Maurice Bishop of Grenada, 

Walter Rodney of Guyana, 

Jessie Jackson, Kwame Ture (Stokley Carmichael)

and Louis Farrakhan of the USA, 

Samora Machel of Mozambique, 

Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, 

Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, 

Bob Marley and 

Marcus Garvey  of Jamaica, and more.

Menelik Shabazz, 1998, 84mins.


Joe (David Oyelowo – Middle of Nowhere) is a teacher with a mission. He’s determined to save the black youngsters at his school from a life of gangs, crime and underachievement – whether they like it or not. But when a seemingly minor incident rapidly escalates out of control and he loses his job, he turns against his own community. He quickly descends into madness and hits rock bottom, before realising he has a lot to learn about love, understanding and a different way of seeing his world. “It’s about what it means to Joe – a middle class, professional guy – to be black in 21st century Britain.”

Ngozi Onwurah, 2006, 90 minutes, English


Lovers Rock, often dubbed ‘romantic reggae’ is a uniquely black British sound that developed in the late 70s and 80s against a backdrop of riots, racial tension and sound systems. Live performance, comedy sketches, dance, interviews and archive shed light on the music and the generation that embraced it. Lovers Rock allowed young people to experience intimacy and healing through dance- known as ‘scrubbing’- at parties and clubs. This dance provided a coping mechanism for what was happening on the streets. Lovers Rock developed into a successful sound with national UK hits and was influential to British bands (Police, Culture Club, UB40).

Menelik Shabazz, 2011, 96mins

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