Now in its sixth year, B3 Media is looking for artists for its 2019 edition of TalentLab – an innovative creative development programme aimed at minority voices which includes Black and Asian artists, writers, creative producers, and filmmakers who are ready to take their careers to the next level.
Applications are invited from individuals with a strong story to tell, and a track record in film, visual arts, theatre and digital storytelling. B3 Media is hoping to find 20 candidates with ideas to participate in a series of development labs in September 2019. From this initial group, up to 6 projects will be commissioned. The selected filmmakers and artists will receive mentorship and development support between October – November 2019 with an opportunity to present their work at B3 Futures creative showcase in central London in November 2019. Alt A caught up with B3 Media Founder Marc Boothe. The entries close 27th of August 2019.
ALT: Tell how the B3 Media TalentLab was born?
B3 Media TalentLab came out of a series of experimental workshops we were running, working across short film and visual arts. Originating from Featurelab, a programme we ran in partnership with Film4 and the BBC, Talentlab grew into its own project. Now in its sixth year, we run curated sessions for each cohort. No two years have been the same as this programme evolves to respond to the participants’ needs.
ALT: Over the years who have been some of the film maker successes that have come through the Talentlab?
Our alumni from across our programmes and arts labs have gone on to achieve incredible things and work on fantastic projects – just a few examples include:
– Rungano Nyoni http://rungano.com/ went on to win the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut in 2018, Best Director and Best Director Award for a first film at the BFI Awards 2017 for her first feature length film ‘I Am Not a Witch’, as well as a number of nominations across film festivals and film awards.
- Gloria Huwiler’s (Talentlab 2017) debut feature project “Victoria Falls”, developed with support from B3 Media, was selected for the prestigious L’Atelier (Cinefoundation) development labs at Cannes 2019 with Director Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese. (Note: Gloria, who is also an actor, also appeared in Rungano’s film ‘I Am Not a Witch’.
– Zodwa Nyoni https://www.zodwanyoni.com/about, http://theagency.co.uk/the-clients/zodwa-nyoni/ is a playwright and poet who’s written plays for the Young Vic and BBC Radio 3. She’s also won Channel 4 Playwright’s Scheme and is leading workshops in community organisations, schools and universities in the UK, USA and South Africa.
– Theresa Ikoko https://www.alfredfagonaward.co.uk/features/qa-with-theresa-ikoko/ is an award-winning playwright. Her play ‘Girls’ won the National Theatre’s Alfred Fagon Award. She also works with gangs and serious youth violence offenders in the community, and young women who are affected by these issues.
– Nosa Eke http://theagency.co.uk/the-clients/nosa-eke/ is a writer, director and filmmaker who’s recently been selected as one of the 6 filmmakers for the NETWORK @FLARE Mentorships in partnership with BAFTA. She will also be working on a short film funded by the BFI and Film London, and has worked with Apple, the BBC and VR studio Marshmallow Laser Feast.
ALT: For entrants what constitutes a “strong story”?
We’re looking for stories that are fresh, authentic and compelling – voices that are trying to say something different or express themselves in a different way.
ALT: What is the importance of representative storytelling?
We want to discover stories that are often unheard, don’t conform to the mainstream and that come from the margins. We also want to hear voices that have been facing challenges with being heard and understood because they’re different. These voices tend to come from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean diaspora; from second or third generation storytellers and are complex and important. B3’s role is figuring out how we can work to provide support and a space for these stories to be told.
ALT: What does Nelson George bring to the table as a mentor?
Nelson George has a unique range of skills as a writer, author, screenwriter, director and producer. He has an acute understanding of storytelling and how it relates to black popular culture in a way that combines cultural creativity and commercial understanding for how those stories can best be told.
ALT: Tell us a bit about your vision as Founder of B3 Media?
At the moment, we’re in times of uncertainty, both culturally and politically. Questions around identity, race and sense of place are becoming even more important. As artists, this is when we’re best at creating worlds and stories that help us understand who we are. Our vision is to help the next generation of storytellers find their voice, and to provide a space and springboard for them to tell their stories to the widest possible audience, irrespective of their platform, whether it’s film, visual arts or spoken word.
ALT: Marc Boothe thank you for talking to ALT Africa.
Other Talentlab Alumni Achievements
TalentLab alumni have gone on to have their work shown at Cannes, Sundance, and other key film festivals; received BAFTA nominations; won prestigious awards and prizes for theatre and television; and exhibited or presented work at leading venues.
A few recent examples include:
- B3 Alumnus and Associate writer/ digital producer Nosa Eke (Talentab 2017) and writer/ director Matthew Morgan (Talentab 2014), were both selected for the BAFTA/ BFI FLAMIN Fellowship in 2018. They are now developing their respective projects. Nosa is currently working on a major cross-platform project, and Matthew is in the next phase of development with his first feature.
- Soraya Syed (Talentab 2017) whose long-form dance/ experimental film “Majnun,” developed at Talentlab 2017/ 18 and selected for an Arts Council Grants for the Arts Award in 2018, has just completed the pilot which was directed and produced by The Ballet Boyz.
- Richard Ramchurn (Talentlab 2014) is about to embark on a roadshow of his second interactive brain-controlled film “The MOMENT”. Richard is a digital artist working across the mediums of theatre, film and digital technologies. He recently completed his PhD, at Horizon’s Centre for Doctoral Research at Nottingham University/ MRL, following his Artist in Residence scheme at the Mixed Reality Lab as part of a B3 TalentLab programme.
- Divya Ghelani (Talentlab 2014) came to Talentlab with a very personal story about the first wave of Gujarati immigrants settling in the East Midlands. The initial idea was developed with support from B3 into an exhibition, interactive installation and digital storytelling project which opened this summer at the Newalke Houses Museum Leicester. The exhibition has been supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council’s Grants for The Arts Award, Mixed Reality Labs, University of Leicester and De Monfort University.
What is TalentLab ?
B3’s TalentLab is a bespoke talent development programme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) creatives working in film and across multiple platforms (digital storytelling (VR/ AR) , photography, theatre, spoken word and music). TalentLab aims
to reach writers, directors, creative producers, artists, digital artists and media creators, helping them to re-assess their professional practice, improve their skills, and give them the confidence and contacts to push their careers and projects to the next level.
Complete and submit an online application by the extended deadline of Midday on Tuesday 27th August, 2019.
For more info and to apply click here.