The Windrush Caribbean Film Festival announce two cultural icons are to join its team as it gears up to mark the 75th Anniversary of Windrush in June.
Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe MBE is joining the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival (WCFF) as Artistic Director. Emmanuel is well known in the film and wider cultural communities as the Founder of British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) which launched in 2005 as the only showcase for urban independent cinema in the UK. In 2018, Emmanuel co-founded BUFF Originals (now BUFF Studios), the production and distribution arm of BUFF, whose debut feature NO SHADE won its director, Clare Anyiam-Osigwe (Emmanuel’s wife) an African Movie Academy award. Last November, BUFF Studios debuted Emmanuel’s documentary film ABSOLUTELY MARVELLOUS. In October 2020 BUFF was granted BAFTA qualifying status for British Short Films.
Emmanuel was awarded an MBE for services to the Black and Minority Ethnic Film Industry, following a 20-year career in media, journalism, and film.
On this announcement, Emmanuel said, “I am excited to be working with the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival at such a pivotal moment in British history. The 75th anniversary of Windrush in June will be a once in a generation moment. Therefore, the opportunity lies in wait for the festival to become front and centre of all that is great and good in showcasing Caribbean film and cinema in 2023 and beyond. It’s an opportunity that I am honoured to be part of.”
Ansel Wong CBE has been appointed a Director of Windrush Caribbean Film Festival CIC, the community interest company that has brought the Festival to the United Kingdom since 2020.
Born in Trinidad and UK based since the 1960s, Ansel is a cultural historian, community leader, political activist and leader of several public and charitable organizations who uses art to affect social change and racial justice. He has served on the Windrush Commemoration Committee, was the former Chair of the Notting Hill Carnival Trust and co-founder of Elimu Mas Band. He led a group of staff to get October designated as Black History Month.
Ansel led the creation of much content for WCFF’s 2021 programme which focused on The Art of Carnival.
On his appointment, Mr. Wong said, “I am honoured and delighted to be joining WCFF as I have engaged with the festival over the past two years and bear witness to the drive for excellence and quality that underpins their programming. I look forward to making a contribution to elevate the creativity of the Caribbean and its diaspora”.
Frances-Anne Solomon, award-winning filmmaker, and co-founder of WCFF, said, “We are honoured to have these two consequential figures for the cultural landscape of Britain and its Black communities.
About Windrush Caribbean Film Festival
The Windrush Caribbean Film Festival (WCFF) successfully launched in 2020 with a mission to engage and educate audiences across the UK about the contributions of the Windrush generation to the country through screenings, talkbacks, interviews, and workshops. The festival is a springboard for conversations that bridge the gap between the Windrush generation’s experience and 21st century perspectives, with the goal of discussing and celebrating this iconic generation before they are lost to us. In addition to the Festival, WCFF inaugurated the Paulette Wilson Windrush Justice Award given to Amelia Gentleman and Nadine White (2020), Jacqueline Mackenzie and Patrick Vernon (2021) and Wendy Williams (2022).
The festival is supported by a national consortium of leading community, business, arts organizations, and educators working to attract a broad, diverse multi-generational audience. Between May and November 2019, this network successfully delivered 40+ nationwide screenings of the feature film HERO: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Ulric Cross in commercial and independent cinemas across the country. This success inspired the launch of broader programming through WCFF in 2020 (Windrush Justice), 2021 (The Art of Carnival) and 2022 (From Empire to Commonwealth).