The inaugural 2023 Conversation Series “The Struggle To Be Seen,” produced by BAFTA’s team in North America and the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), will conclude its year one programming on Monday 30 October 2023 in London with a special three-part event at BAFTA’s UK headquarters, located at 195 Piccadilly, London. UK film director Simon Frederick took part in the first series of this “candid talk” on how Black creative might support each other..
The two evening panels will include a session on “Gaming in Film & Television” and “Hair and Makeup in Film & Television,” culminating in a reception for speakers and attendees.
The series that kicked off in Los Angeles in February has featured guests such as Orion President Alana Mayo; Academy Award®-winner Ruth E. Carter; producer Tendo Ngenda; actress/director Salli Richardson; film director Simon Frederick; The Black List founder Franklin Leonard; agent Humphrey Hendrix; plus other leading Black creative professionals in America and the UK for a candid talk on how they can support each other in the entertainment industry.
As the series evolves into year two, organizers from #BAFTA and AAFCA anticipate growing engagement between their two groups.
The series was launched during Black History Month in the U.S., and originated from discussions between AAFCA President Gil Robertson, BAFTA’s Executive Director and Head of North America, Matthew Wiseman, and Chair of BAFTA’s North America Learning, Inclusion and Talent Committee Nyasha Hatendi.
“From its inception, we envisioned this forum to serve as a ‘safe space’ for Black entertainment professionals in America and the UK, allowing them to openly discuss their career challenges,” noted Robertson. “Our aim was to encourage dialogue and sow the seeds of cooperation that would yield greater representation for Black identities in the realms of film and television.”
The London panelists will include Senior Character Artist Del Walker (Naughty Dog), Hair Artist Hazel Brown (Roarty Digital) and 3D Artist and Founder (Evolotu) Danielle “Ebonix” Udogaranya (Black Twitch UK); Makeup and Hair Designers Sharon Martin (The Last King of Scotland, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical) and Nora Robertson, (Rocks, Scrapper), among others.
Following the London event, representatives from BAFTA and AAFCA will present findings from the year one programme and unveil plans for the second year of the partnership.
“The response to the series has been truly inspiring and the issues raised have proven just how important such a forum is, not only for Black Creatives to find solidarity and understanding amongst each other but also to provide valuable insight in identifying ways to lead, and consistently instigate meaningful change in an entertainment industry that has traditionally undervalued and marginalized practitioners of color,” notes Hatendi. “By greenlighting this series, BAFTA continues to embrace the opportunity to provide much needed leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion.”
The next iteration of the AAFCA x BAFTA “The Struggle to Be Seen” Series is already in the planning and is set to be launched in 2024.
When: Monday 30 October 2023 – 6:30pm
Where: BAFTA 195 Piccadilly, BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EU
Princess Anne Theatre