Now in its fourth year, the S.O.U.L Film Festival returns to London in September with a new partnership that not only continues its mission to champion the work of the UK’s most exciting Black British Creatives, but to extend that intention to Black Filmmakers from across the Atlantic.
Taking place from 16th-18th September at the BFI Southbank and with a new venue partner The Garden Cinema, the festival will host screenings, panel discussions and networking events, with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) promoting the international opportunities that exist for Black British filmmakers who are trying to get their work made and seen.
2022 brings about significant and exciting change for the festival as it represents a new collaboration with the ABFF, the premier event in the United States showcasing the work of content creators of African descent. Now in its 26th year, the ABFF has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for the early works of Black talent including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Halle Berry (Bruised) and Issa Rae (Insecure).
This year’s festival will feature an exclusive preview screening of the highly anticipated “The Silent Twins”, starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrence as the titular siblings who only communicated with each other. The film, based on the best selling book and due in cinemas later in the year, will be shown as part of the S.O.U.L Film Festival on Saturday 17th September. “We’re delighted to welcome The Silent Twins to S.O.U.L Film Fest,” says Iyare Igiehon, S.O.U.L Film Festival co-founder. “It makes it all the more special, with two of the UK’s finest actresses in dramatic roles that will be sure to engage audiences.”
The S.O.U.L Film Festival collaboration with ABFF, represents the second foray into international territories for the company founded by Jeff and Nicole Friday, who established the venture ‘ABFF Global’ in 2019 sponsored by Sony Pictures Entertainment and American Airlines.
“ABFF is rooted in building bridges and fostering alliances between Black content creators around the world. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s support of ABFF Global has allowed us to further this mission,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF founder and CEO ABFF Ventures. “We have a deep respect for the S.O.U.L. organization and appreciate them welcoming us to be a part of their annual event.”
“We are delighted to partner with the ABFF, an organisation we have long admired and been inspired by says Igiehon. “We established S.O.U.L. Fest with an ethos of community and have found Jeff and Nicole Friday and the wider ABFF team share our values and desire to forge links across the African diaspora. This collaboration will bring about greater experiences for audiences, open up opportunities for the talent, supporting and further strengthening the UK as a node on the global Black cinematic network.”
Co-founded by The British Blacklist, S.O.U.L Film Festival and We Are Parable) the London based festival will also host an in conversation with Jeff and Nicole sharing their 26 year journey to create a path to Hollywood; and the international opportunities that now exist for Black British filmmakers who are trying to get their work made and seen.
The best shorts of the year highlighting Black British filmmaking talent will be screened with a special S.O.U.L Fest awards ceremony. In addition to screenings, the festival will collaborate with BBC Comedy in a special masterclass which provides insight on commissioning, producing and delivering comedy projects for the broadcaster.