London gets cash to boost black filmmakers

'The New Black' aims to support exhibition, marketing

LONDON -- Film London, with backing from the U.K. Film Council and Skillset, is pumping 100,000 pounds ($186,000) into a two-year funding and training program to bolster the theatrical exhibition market for movies from black filmmakers.

Dubbed "The New Black," the new strategy unveiled Wednesday will provide current black film exhibitors with financial support to market and publicize their events more effectively, enabling them to grow and develop their audiences.

Events such as the London African Film Festival and the BFM International Film Festival, both held in the British capital, scooped just shy of 40,000 pounds ($74,000) between them.

Film London CEO Adrian Wootton was joined at the launch by government minister Diane Abbott and MOBO music awards CEO and founder Kanya King, to talk the project up.

"London is a culturally diverse city with a huge appetite for film in all its varieties and it is an important part of Film London's remit to bring this to as wide an audience as possible," Wootton said.

For her part, King noted the "strong parallel" with the music industry and film. "There are still barriers out there as we've witnessed even in London," she said.