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Not content with having two films in the lineup (A United Kingdom and Queen of Katwe), David Oyelowo is now also set to be the lead speaker at the BFI London Film Festival’s headline industry event, the Black Star Symposium.
The event, which is set to take place Oct. 6, just a day after United Kingdom opens the fest, will look to explore the obstacles faced by black actors in the U.S. and the U.K., “color-blind” casting and the differences between film and TV, before discussing methods of stimulating change. The symposium is the first major event as part of the BFI’s Black Star season celebrating black talent on screen, which kicks off in force after the London Film Festival closes on Oct. 17.
Oyelowo will be joined by his United Kingdom director Amma Asante, Moonlight filmmaker Barrie Jenkins, British director Noel Clarke and Julie Dash, whose 1991 film Daughters of the Dust is being presented during the festival program.
As part of the symposium, BFI creative director Heather Stewart will unveil the first phase of new research about the representation of black actors in British films.
“We want to make the data available — as both a tool and a mirror — for everyone who is in a position to say ‘yes’ to new creativity and new opportunities,” she said. “It will help shape what funders, policy makers, producers, directors and writers think about when they are making decisions in a world where audiences hope for so much more than they are offered.”
Added Oyelowo: “I’m really hopeful we’re about to segue from talking about diversity to actually doing it.”
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