A series of short films inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement have been commissioned by ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill for broadcasting on the main channel next month.
Each of the drama shorts are powerful and impactful stories which illustrate the importance of black perspectives. It’s imperative we support and nurture black voices and ensure that they have a platform.
Produced by Greenacre Films (Been So Long), an independent production company founded by award winning producers Nadine Marsh-Edwards (Joe All Alone, The Ruins of Empires, An Englishman in New York) and Amanda Jenks (The Girl, Akala’s Odyssey, An Englishman in New York) with a remit to produce fresh and surprising stories with diverse voices, the dramas commence filming in London from 27 July. The dramas are 15’ x 4 and will be produced whilst adhering to the TV and film production guidelines to ensure the safety and well-being of the cast and crew.
Impassioned and relatable, the four films are written by Jerome Bucchan-Nelson (Bulletproof), Anna Ssemuyaba (Upload), playwright and Artistic Director of the Bush Theatre, Lynette Linton (Sweat) and Nicole Lecky (Superhoe).
Commented Polly Hill:
“I’m proud to commission four new drama shorts from Greenacre Films which reflect what’s happening in Britain today. The scripts are unique, fresh and engaging, about real people in completely real situations, confronting and exploring racism and prejudice. I hope in some small way each of these films will bring about change.”
Look At Me, written by Lynette Linton, produced by Carol Harding (Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar, The Last Witness) and directed by Frances Annan (Escape from Pretoria, Holby City) focuses upon the lives of young professional couple Nicola and Michael and the aftermath of them being stopped by the police while out driving on a date. We witness the fallout of this event, as we see the change in them from before the incident and the impact it has on them individually and as a couple.
Lavender, written by Nicole Lecky, produced by Jo Johnson (Casualty, Ackley Bridge) and directed by Ethosheia Hylton (Dolapo is Fine, In The Silence) when a new mother with light skin has a baby with darker skin, she is forced to confront and evaluate her relationship to her own white mother when her latent colourism shines through.
When her mother cannot understand her experience of the world and how that impacts her new-born daughter, an immovable wedge appears between them. Can it be overcome?
Generational, written by Jerome Bucchan-Nelson, produced by Barbara Emile (Holby City, EastEnders) and directed by Alrick Riley (NCIS, The Good Doctor) explores the relationship a black father and daughter have with each other. When William catches his teen-age daughter, Justina, sneaking out, the usual scenes of antagonism between parent and child follow. However, it soon transpires that Justina is sneaking out to a Black Lives Matter march.
What follows is an enlightening, but bitter sweet conversation for both father and daughter, as their views differ on what it means to fight for social justice. But as the conversation progresses and elements from the fathers past come to the fore their positions evolve and change and they find some common ground.
I Don’t Want To Talk About This, written by Anna Ssemuyaba, produced by Madonna Baptiste (The Stranger, Black Mirror) and directed by Koby Adom (Noughts + Crosses, Haircut) tells the story of a former couple who bump into each other a few years later at a mate’s party.
They end up reassessing their relationship and the challenges they faced being a middle-class black woman and a working-class white bloke and the insidious and undeniable impact of racism on their love and friendship.
The dramas will be executive produced by the founders of Greenacre Films, Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks. ITV Drama Commissioner, Chloe Tucker, will oversee the production of the dramas from the channel’s perspective.
Commented Nadine Marsh-Edwards and Amanda Jenks:
“We are delighted to be working with Polly and ITV together with such talented teams of writers, producers and directors. We relish the opportunity to cast a light on some of the things that go unsaid and bring the complexities and nuance of black experiences in the UK today to the screen.”