The BFI has joined with Black-led film production company Ida Rose and Kwame Kwei-Armah’s Young Vic Theatre to present this showcase and pitching event. A selection of Black novelists and TV screenwriters who normally work in continuing drama, along with a few emerging writers, will pitch their stories to an invited audience of television drama commissioning editors, film and TV drama producers, and Black-led production companies. The event’s aim is to raise awareness of the range of novels with strong potential for adaptation. But also to draw attention to the frustration that some writers have felt, during development and in writing rooms, at the way characters and storylines fall all too easily into lazy stereotypes rather that reflecting the diversity of Black people and their lives in Britain and around the world.

The idea is the brainchild of former theatre director Alby James, who moved into film and broadcasting with the BBC in the mid-90s and gained valuable experience helping the South African film and television industry emerge from decades of apartheid, championing equality over division. He approached his friend, Kwame Kwei-Armah, to partner Ida Rose and the BFI on the event. Kwame was enthusiastic in his response:

This is an important time in the history of our sector, a time when there can be no more excuses. Let’s all do our bit and make sure that the talent meets the broadcasters and broadcasters meet the talent. This is the time.Kwame Kwei-Armah

BAFTA award-winning writer-director Amma Asante will introduce the showcase with a personal tribute and call for urgency in meeting the challenge of getting work by black writers to the screen.

This session is a recording of a physical event that takes place on Friday 16 October at the Young Vic Theatre.

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