We’re used to seeing film industry round-table talk from the USA. One that carries a lot of kudos is the series from The Hollywood Reporter, where industry heavyweights bring their game to discussions about acting, producing, directing…the whole filmmaking process.
They happen in the UK too, but what’s often missing on higher profiled platforms this side of the Atlantic is the Black British creative community when bigger platforms curate ‘talking-heads’ for such conversations.
But Brothers With No Game (BWNG) and The British Blacklist (TBB) online entities aim to add to the narrative via their collaborative vehicle titled The Circle.
BWNG was the first UK comedy web-series to tell the story of ordinary black men living life without the burden of race-led issues. Its first episode began March 2014.
Created by Leon Mayne (BWNG Co-Founder) and Akua Gyamfi (Founder of TBB), the roundtable series connects a golden generation of creatives and filmmakers to speak on their journeys, the creative process, the highs and lows of the industry and the future of Digital, TV & Film.
The series will feature five episodes: Producers & Development Execs, Writers & Creators, Directors & Filmmakers, Actors & Actresses and Crew & Post Production. On board too is a special workshop segment called The Process, where an idea created by the writers’ roundtable will find its way through all the other respective episodes to highlight approach and fun creativity.
You’ll remember that Leon Mayne joined Women Of The Lens as a Guest Curator last year. He’s had a career in the industry for many years so he’s very in tune with the pulse of what’s currently vibrant. Leon said this of his latest venture:
“I created this project to highlight some of the great minds in front of & behind the screen. Although there is evidently more work to be done in representation & inclusivity, it’s important to champion the rich pool of creatives who have been paving the way for themselves & others in Digital, TV & Film. The Circle will provide a focal point for awareness, inspiration & camaraderie amongst both up-&-coming & established creatives as well as edutain audiences”
The project has been nearly two years in the making with Leon and Akua shooting a pilot with the golden generation of web-series creators in 2016. A full series was then self-commissioned a year later where Levile TV was brought on board as a collaborator.
The British Blacklist is an online home for African Caribbean British creative news, reviews, features and commentary. TBB Founder Akua Gyamfi had this to say;
“The Circle seemed like a no-brainer. In our continuing quest to shed light on the journeys of British diverse content creators how better than to get them together on camera, sharing their stories!…”
Akua hosted one of our important discussion panels focussing on the changing dynamics of broadcasting. She continues;
“…Hoping that what they experienced will inspire future generations, and or validate those who have been struggling to be heard in an industry, which doesn’t readily accept ‘other’ storytellers. It’s especially been a pleasure to work with a completely diverse crew behind the camera. We are showing the industry it can be done, and it isn’t very difficult.”
Ola Christian is Levile TV’s Founder and additional partner in the project. He explained how he came on board and highlighted the astute decision for collaborating on similar projects rather than working in isolation which continues to dilute the power of talent in the UK industry;
“The opportunity to direct this project arose after a phone conversation with Leon Mayne. I was discussing an idea that was not too dissimilar from a project he had piloted with Akua a while ago. We all discussed how we could create this project and provide a platform to allow industry professionals from a diverse background to represent us with thoughtful & insightful information.”
The Circle debuts Sunday 8th April from 7pm via the Brothers With No Game channel.
Watch teaser clips: Actors & Actresses and Producers & Development Executives