Black History Season: Screenings and Panel Discussion with Kush Films

(Film Images: Black Joy and Recorder)

Camden Black History Season 2020 – Moving Image Big Screen   

Partnership with KUSH FILMS 

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Monday 26th October  

Camden BHS – Back to the Future    
Kush Films Presents a Special BHS Film Talk & UK Exclusive Screening: 
6.30pm: Introduction 
Marlon Palmer director of Kush Films welcomes audience and introduces the evenings proceedings and starts by presenting Black Slates  ‘Young, Gifted and Black’ short music film 

6.50pm: Panel discussion starts  

7.50pm - Film: Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project  

9.30pm: film finish 

Panel Discussion: Black Culture & Media Representation in Film & TV 
A one hour talk with a special guest panel from the world of TV and film looking at media representation; distribution/commissioning and lack thereof of the black experience.      

Guest Panel:  
Andrew Turner (former Head of Theatrical Sales for 20th Century Fox) 

Jimmy Akingbola (Actor & Producer/Host of Sorry, I Didn't Know)  

Simone Pennant (founder of the TV Collective). 

Hosted by Marlon Palmer (founder & director of Kush Films) 
Young Gifted & Black 
Pioneering reggae band Black Slate proudly launches a new rendition and short film of the classic Nina Simone track Young, Gifted and Black for BHS aimed at positively embracing black youth development.  
Black Slate / 2020 /14 mins /UK 
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project 
A fiercely intelligent, radical activist who became a fabulously wealthy recluse in her later years, Marion Stokes was dedicated to furthering and protecting the truth — so much so that she recorded American television 24 hours a day for over 30 years. Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project peels back the curtain on her life, through a mix of Stokes’ own archive of recordings and interviews with those who knew her best.  
Long before the term “fake news” entered the national conversation, the Philadelphia-based Stokes recognized the shifting nature of the media and the importance of protecting the truth. Working in television in the late 1960s, she believed in the power of the medium to inform or misinform the public. Stokes determined that a comprehensive archive of national media would one day be invaluable, and began recording television broadcasts in 1979, starting with news broadcasts of the Iranian hostage crisis at the dawn of the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and continuing until her death in 2012. 

Spanning 70,000 videotapes that captured revolutions, lies, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows, and commercials, Stokes’ visionary and maddening project nearly tore her family apart. 

Directed by: Matt Wolf  
Documentary | USA | 87 Min | 2019 


Andrew Turner 

A Theatrical Sales professional with over 30 years of experience working across both exhibition and distribution.  
As Head of Film Buying at Cineworld Cinemas he largely contributed towards an aggressive market share growth from less than 1% to market leaders at over 23%. One of the biggest factors for success was supporting the growth of Bollywood cinema in the UK which grossed at its height £16m per year. As Sales Director at 20th Century Fox he distributed £2B of blockbuster titles such as Bohemian Rhapsody, The Greatest Showman and the biggest ever 3D release Avatar as well as a broad slate of films from Fox Searchlight, Fox Star Studios and Pathe productions.  

Simone Pennant  

Simone Pennant MBE founded The TV Collective in 2008; she has spent over two decades working within the television industry. TVC’s sole aim is to support the economic growth of the black, Asian and Minority Ethnic creative communities working in TV, film and digital media.   
Simone is also a licensed career counsellor and coach and in this role has guided and worked with writers, producers, directors and creative talent in all branches of the media. And in 2018 was awarded an MBE for her work. 

In 2020 TVC produced TVCCovidTalks a series of online talks which helped to keep talent motivated and work ready during the lockdown period. Featuring a raft of senior Black Asian, Minority Ethnic industry talent. Simone has also worked with Channel 4 to help Black and Asian Ethnic production companies win commissions.  

Jimmy Akingbola 

Jimmy Akingbola can currently be seen taking on hosting duties in SORRY, I DIDN’T KNOW, a classic comedy panel show commissioned by ITV to mark Black History Month, created and produced by Jimmy’s production company TRIFORCE PRODUCTIONS. A respected and versatile actor, Jimmy just recently returned to his much-loved and ‘scene-stealer’ character of ‘Valentine’, exuberant younger brother to Idris Elba’s Walter in the third series of much-loved comedy IN THE LONG RUN, created by and also starring Elba for Sky One.  

  Prior to that, he led the cast as an asylum-seeking African doctor who forms an unexpected and sparky friendship with the owner of a seaside café, Kate (Golden Globe Winner Brenda Blethyn) in KATE AND KOJI, ITV’S biggest sitcom success since Birds of a Feather and Benidorm with 5 million viewers for its first episode. He also took on a key role in EMMY nominated MOST DANGEROUS GAME for streaming platform Quibi in which he featured alongside Liam Hemsworth and Christopher Waltz; the series was nominated at this year’s EMMYs in the category of ‘Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series’ . He was also seen in TED LASSO for Apple TV+, a new comedy series starring Jason Sudekis as the popular, idealistic and clueless American football Coach Ted Lasso who Sudekis played in NBC Sports videos previously.    

Additionally, alongside TriForce Productions, he is widely regarded as the founder of the TRIFORCE CREATIVE NETWORK, which has multiple initiatives such as TriForce Short Film Festival, WriterSlam UK, and MonologueSlam UK that help to provide opportunities to discover diverse talent including actors, writers, directors and producers. Some of these initiatives have been supported by Spotlight, Equity, Channel 4. C21 Media, ITV, Sky and BBC. 



Thursday 26th November  

Camden BHS – Back to the Future   ‘Moving Image’ 
Kush Films Presents a Special BHS Film Talk & UK Exclusive Screening: 

6.30pm: Start of panel discussion 
Marlon Palmer director of Kush Films welcomes audience and introduces the evenings proceedings and starts with presenting Black Slate’s short film Young, Gifted and Black. 

6.45pm: Panel discussion starts (duration 1 hr)  

7.50pm - Film: Black Joy (1hr, 37 mins) 

9.30pm: film finish 

Panel Discussion:  The Legacy of Black Film Exhibition in The UK 
A one hour talk with a special guest panel of black film exhibitors that opened the doors to UK cinemas and carried on the legacy of creating public access to the best black films on the big screen.         

Guest Panel:  
Iyare Igiehon (Soul Fest), Lara Samuels (Rapport festival), Teanne Andrews (We Are Parable) & Chris Burton (Black Pyramid Films). 
Hosted by Marlon Palmer (founder & director of Kush Films) 
Black Joy 
An Innocent and unsophisticated Guyanan immigrant is exposed to the hustling ways of life of the Briton ghetto. 
Cast: Norman Beaton, Floella Benjamin Paul Medford, Oscar James, Dawn Hope & Trevor Thomas.  

Director: Anthony Simmons 
UK / 1977 / 97 mins /15 

 Features an amazing soul-reggae soundtrack which includes: The Real Thing, Jimmy Helm, Johnny Nash, Shirley & Co, Billy Paul, Aretha Franklin, The Cimarons, Gladys Knight, The Drifters and The Three Degrees. 


Speaker Biogs: 
Marlon Palmer (Kush Films / Nu-Urban Image International Pictures / Kush Community Arts & Media Development) 
Marlon Palmer is the founder and director of Kush Films, Kush Community Arts & Media Development and Nu-Urban Image International Pictures. For 22 years he has been a pioneer in black film exhibition and the first to open many UK cinemas doors for black films across the UK (London, Luton, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds) through his renowned film club the Kush Film Boutique. Through his not-for-profit organisation Kush Community Arts & Media Development he also created the UK’s first Black History Film Festival ‘Sights & Sounds from The Past’ which ran for three years, he also devised and managed the much-championed digital video production training course A Bridge To Normal Living supporting disadvantaged young people both course and festival was based at the Rio Cinema, in Hackney East London from 2001 – 2003.  The Kush Film Boutique was also the first black film club to be permanently based in the West End of London over a 10 year period consistently screening many films exclusively prior to release on a monthly/bi-monthly bias at prestigious cinemas like The Odeon Cinema, Covent Gdn, Regent St Cinema, Prince Charles Cinema, Apollo West End & The Rex Cinema & Bar, Leicester Sq. Different to most other exhibitors Marlon’s self-reliant entrepreneurial nature has led him to develop longstanding business relationships directly with corporate film distributors rather than grant giving institutions like the BFI.  He has worked with most major UK film distributors and screened over 250 major films whilst also been the first black led PR/Marketing Company to be paid to market new mainstream film releases since 2009 where he was first given a budget to marketing the Oscar winning film Crash. Marlon through Kush Films has managed marketing campaigns for films like; Ray, Roots, Baggage Claim, The Butler, Black Nativity,  12 Years A Slave, Half A Yellow Sun, The Maze Runner, Selma, Top Five, I Am Not A Witch, Den of Thieves, Queen and Slim & many others. Now Marlon Palmer is one of the first black men in the UK film industry to move fully into film distribution. 


Iyare Igiehon 

Iyare Igiehon is the BFI’s Inclusion Partnerships & Events Exec, co-founder of S.O.U.L and director of S.O.U.L. Fest and is soon to join the BBC as Creative Diversity Partner. 
His career has taken in a number of roles often with a focus on black culture and entertainment. This has included curating music promos,  to writing music reviews for major black newspapers and as an audio editor for black culture website He has also presented shows for BBC 1Xtra, BBC6 Music and BBC Radio 2 whilst also working extensively as a producer and as an event presenter. A consistent feature of his career has always been teaching and training, he has guest lectured at universities, taught BTEC Media and programmed the BFI’s Future Film educational filmmaking sessions at the BFI Southbank for three years. 
In 2014 he cofounded S.O.U.L. an organisation that advocates for BAME practitioners in British film and television and in 2019 led a consortium of Black film organisations in launching a new Black British film festival, S.O.U.L. Fest. 

Lara Samuels 

Lara Samuels creates community-focussed arts projects in London, and has experience in a range of different roles (i.e theatre director, producer, event manager, and curator).  Lara is passionate about creating work that reflects the diverse mix of cultures, ethnicities and classes that exist in our UK cities. She is the Artistic Director and founder of Rapport Festival, a multi-disciplinary African Diaspora arts festival based in Brixton.  Rapport Festival was created to redefine the artistic and cultural landscape of the UK.  By placing the spotlight on arts created by African Diaspora practitioners and artists from multiple genres and art disciplines, Rapport Festival offers a unique platform that celebrates and elevates African Diaspora artistic expression from across the international diaspora. 


Chris Burton

Black Pyramid Film and Video Project (BP) was created in 1993 from an emerging need to provide training, production and exhibition of black and ethnic minority filmmaking across the South West region. Influenced by the likes of Black Audio, Ceddo, Sankofa and the black film workshop movement of the 80s; Black Pyramid set out to challenge notions of race, identity and representation across the British film and TV industry and the wider diaspora.   

Teanne Andrews 

Teanne Andrews is an award-winning Events Producer (Film London Lodestars 2020), with over 15 years of experience in engaging global, national and local audiences across art forms - film, visual art, crafts and heritage arts. As co-founder of We Are Parable, Teanne has worked with over 70 companies, engaging over 30,000 people from across the UK through delivering award-winning, innovative and culturally relevant events that centre and celebrate Black cinema. Whatever the scale of the event, Teanne is expert in weaving a powerful sense of community through every project, creating memories that last a lifetime. 
Teanne has worked with prominent filmmakers including Spike Lee, Ryan Coogler, Amma Asante and Idris Elba. She has also partnered with the likes of Sundance Film Festival, British Film Institute, Home Manchester, Film London, Picturehouse Cinemas, Entertainment One, Studiocanal and Republic Films. In addition, Teanne has recently been appointed Trustee of Rio Cinema, a Grade II listed independent Art Deco cinema in east London. 


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