CHECK OUT Africa Utopia Schedule of Events Wed 31 Aug – Sun 4 Sep

Africa Utopia returns for a fourth time to Southbank Centre to explore what can be learnt and celebrated from modern Africa and the African diaspora. The festival investigates the arts and culture of one of the world’s most dynamic and fast-changing continents and looks at how Africa can lead the ...

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Africa Utopia Returns To Southbank Centre With Comedy, Performance, Talks, Fashion & Music

Africa Utopia returns for a fourth time to Southbank Centre to explore what can be learnt and celebrated from modern Africa and the African diaspora. The festival investigates the arts and culture of one of the world's most dynamic and fast-changing continents and looks at how Africa can lead the ...

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PLEASE VOTE!!! TBB's Founder Akua Gyamfi Shortlisted for a 2016 Back2Black Award!!!!

The 2016 Back2Black takes place at the London BAFTA headquarters Sunday 02 October 2016. The Back2Black Awards celebrates ordinary people from our community who do extraordinary things. This fundraising gala kicks off UK Black History Month in style and is an opportunity to witness some great entertainment and to recognise and ...

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Tara Tijani and Kat Humphrey in NYT's Bitches Photo Credit - Mark Cocksedge

Bola Agbaje's New Play 'Bitches' Forces Us to Address The Conversations Society is Trying Hard to Avoid

As part of their 60th anniversary year the National Youth Theatre has commissioned a new play from award winning playwright Bola Agbaje (Gone Too Far, Off the Endz). Speaking with Ms Agbaje, you get a clear sense of her passion for provoking the uncomfortable conversations we try to avoid. With her play ...

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TBB's Tammy V Speaks to Eme Essien About New Play 'Girls Night Out'...

Eme Essien is an award winning actress whose career spans over 9 years on television and in theatre. With tons of experience and the comedy bug she has taken her one woman show on the road and will share with her audience how a 'Girls Night Out' begins for a ...

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'Hidden Figures': The Big Screen Story Of What Non-Military Black Women Were Doing At NASA During The Space Race!

As 1960s America raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African American female mathematicians. They served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in US. history, quickly rising the ranks of NASA shoulder-to-shoulder with many of history's greatest minds. ...

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Naomie Harris Fuels Awards Buzz Around 'Moonlight' A New Film Which Tackles Black Male Masculinity

It has been a while since a non-sci fi/superhero trailer has caused such a media buzz and early talk of awards-worthiness. But ‪‎Naomie Harris‬' next film has done just that! The 2 minute trailer for the 1980s Miami-set drama '‪‎Moonlight‬' was released on August 11th, accompanied by the announcement that it would ...

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New Kiss FM Grime Show Host Rude Kid Talks Back to TBB’s Albert Yanney

The KISS Network has launched a brand new radio show dedicated to Grime music and is hosted by one of the biggest names in the genre, DJ and producer, Rude Kid.  ‘KISS Grime’ airs on KISS main station every Sunday night from 10pm as the first of a weekly show ...

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(l-r) Nao, J Hus, Gaika, Jahméne Douglas, Audley Harrison

TBB’s Tammy V Takes a Look at the Biggest Tracks Out This Week... Nao; J Hus; Gaika; Jahmene; Audley Harrison

It's so refreshing to see that musically there are so many people from different music backgrounds being represented from the atypical to the not so typical genres including pop and electro. Black British artists are falling into all categories and shining. Check out some music released this past week... Kick-starting with my favourite ...

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Top - Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as DJ Larry Levan

Bottom - Legendary DJ Larry Levan

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith Cast As Legendary Garage Music DJ in New Film 'Paradise Garage'!

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith‬ joins the list of black British talent impressing US casting agents to entrust them with iconic characters from African-American history. August 9th saw King Street Productions announce that Holdbrook-Smith has been cast in a key role at the heart of 'Paradise Garage' (working title). The film tells the story of ...

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London Hughes

Funny Girl London Hughes Speaks to TBB About Her Career & Latest Show 'No Filter'

According to London Hughes there’s a new generation of young exciting females that have a lot to say for themselves and they need a voice in comedy. Yes the UK has Sarah Milican and Miranda Hart, but none of them represent young black females and their everyday life experiences – ...

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Tomisin Adepeju

Tomisin Adepeju's 'The Good Son' Continues Short Film Festival Domination (including some TBB Favourites)!

‎Tomisin Adepeju‬'s 'The Good Son' (Omo Dada) played at ‪Iyare Igiehon‬'s Spring S.O.U.L film festival to an enthusiastic reception and is nominated for a short film award at September's British Urban Film Festival (BUFF), along with Louis Lagayette's “For His Sake"; Alexander Thomas's TBB Favourite “Beverley” and Vicki Kisner's “Sheila”. It has ...

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Soul Icon, Heather Small Headlines 2016 British Urban Film Festival Awards Ceremony

Heather Small

Heather Small

Heather Small is an English soul icon, best known for being the lead singer in the band M People. Her debut solo album was Proud, which was released in 2000. She was also a contestant in the British television show Strictly Come Dancing in 2008.

Small and her distinctive voice helped to sell over 10 million albums worldwide singing with his group M People. They had considerable success with songs such as “Moving on Up” and “Search for the Hero”. Small has said that her major influence has been singer Elkie Brooks.

When Oprah Winfrey was looking for a song to sum up the work she’d been striving to achieve over her twenty-year career, she got in touch with Small and the song “Proud” became the theme song to The Oprah Winfrey Show, and in 2005 Small made her American television debut on the show. Then in 2005 the song became the theme song for the American reality weight loss show The Biggest Loser.

Heather has since revealed that she is a Vegan, and attributes her svelte figure to eating clean and training with her beloved dog. At 51, so looks as beautiful as ever, and laughs that in fact she looks younger than when she was in her late 20’s during M People.

Since then, ‘Proud’ has become the theme song for many aspirational and historical events such The London 2012 Olympics and was performed on Big Brother, May 2016.

Heather is the headline act for The British Urban Film Festival Awards, taking place Sunday 18th September 2016 4pm at the Hilton Hotel, Tower Bridge.

Heather will sing her 3 hit singles ‘Moving on up’, ‘Search for the hero’ and ‘Proud’ which summarise the spectacular achievements of British talent over an 11 year festival and 2nd year awards ceremony. Honouring the likes of Wil Johnson (Emmerdale, Baby Father) and finalists such as Laya Lewis (Skins, Beverley), DJ Abrantee (Capital Xtra) and Mo Ali (Shank, Montana). The star studded night will feature hosts BAFTA Winner Adam Deacon (Anuvahood), Femi Oyeniran (The Intent) and Chucky Venn (Casualty), the awards night is officially sponsored by BBC Films.

Heather says “I am delighted to be performing at this prestigious event. I was born and bred in West London and love to see the young talent getting the recognition they deserve”

Hear Heather’s legendary voice, live at the British Urban Film Festival Awards, Sun 18th Sept, go to:

REGISTER NOW for 1st Ever NFTS Open Day Hosted by Noel Clarke @ BAFTA Monday 26th Sept 2016

noel_clarke_nfts_baftaLegendary indie filmmaker, Noel Clarke is to host a Q&A session at the National Film and Television School’s first ever open day at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in London. The open day takes place on Monday the 26th September at 5.30pm and registrations are open now.

Prospective applicants are invited to meet heads of departments, current students and grads to find out more about the wide range of courses on offer. There will be interactive sessions from the digital effects, games and animation departments, including the ‘making of’ a short horror film, an armature demonstration and the chance to test the latest VR games in development.

Award-winning actor, writer and director, Noel Clarke is to host a Q&A session and will give guests the chance to ask him about his extensive career and get tips on how to be successful into the filmmaking world. Noel is best known for writing the screenplay for Kidulthood and writing, directing and starring in the sequel, Adulthood. He won the Laurence Olivier Award for Most Promising Performer in 2003 and was awarded a BAFTA Orange Rising Star Award in 2009.

A selection of NFTS short films will be shown at the event followed by a drinks reception and networking.

Nik Powell, NFTS director says: “We are honoured that Noel Clarke is to host the Q&A session at our first ever open day at BAFTA in London. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone thinking of embarking upon a career in the film, television or games industries to meet experts in those fields and of course the chance to get advice from such a legendary filmmaker as Noel Clarke. There are still a few places remaining for our MA’s and diplomas, which start in January and we have also launched six brand new courses, which you can find out about if you come along in September!”

As part of the NFTS’ ongoing diversity programme and partnership with Channel 4, the NFTS talent scout, Rebecca Mark-Lawson will be at the open day at BAFTA to meet with prospective applicants from diverse backgrounds to discuss their showreel and potential application to study at the school.

The NFTS, in partnership with Channel 4, is looking for applicants from diverse backgrounds to enrol onto its Directing Fiction and Cinematography MA courses. Channel 4 has a bursary scheme for successful NFTS applicants aimed at people with disabilities, and people from BAME or socially disadvantaged backgrounds as these groups
are underrepresented in film and television directing.

Please email to arrange to meet up with the talent scout (places are limited).
Sign up to the open day here and please visit to find out more about the courses on offer…

BBC 1Xtra Live in Liverpool Lineup Includes Stormzy as Headline Act along with Wretch 32, Lady Leshurr, Desiigner and More!

1xtra_live_2016BBC Radio 1Xtra today announced the line-up for 1Xtra Live in Liverpool – the station’s annual flagship event – which is set to take place on Saturday 8th October at Liverpool echo Arena. Taking to the stage this year will be:

Stormzy | Damian Marley | Desiigner | Giggs | Lady Leshurr | Sean Paul | Wretch 32

Hosted by the 1Xtra DJ family including Charlie Sloth, A.Dot, Yasmin Evans and DJ Target, the event has an unrivalled reputation for bringing some of the biggest UK and international names to one stage with the likes of Miguel, Flo Rida and Krept & Konan descending on Leeds last year.

The event – which is now open to all ages – promises to bigger and better with a brand new set up including two stages, a standing audience and one more special guest to be announced. Tickets for 1Xtra Live will go on sale on Monday 5th September at 6pm in Charlie’s Sloth’s show on BBC Radio 1Xtra’s website (

Stormzy says: “Honoured to headline this years 1Xtra Live in Liverpool, can’t wait to see you all on October 8th.”

Sean Paul says: “Had an amazing time at the first 1Xtra Live I did a couple of years ago. The crowd were nuts and I love shows like that. Mad crazy vibes. Looking forward to doing it all again this year. Dopeness!

Charlie Sloth, BBC Radio 1Xtra DJ says: “1Xtra Live is the biggest urban live event in the country where we get to see some of the most exciting and credible talent play the main stage, and this year is even more special as it’s at the Echo Arena – one of the best Arena’s in the country – and my spiritual home.”

Twin B and Yasmin Evans will be covering all of the live build-up from 4 – 7pm on 1Xtra, with MistaJam taking over from 7 – 8pm on Radio 1 & 1Xtra, followed by the live show from 8-11pm, hosted by 1Xtra DJs including A.Dot and Charlie Sloth. The show will also be live streamed on 1Xtra’s website ( and BBC Radio 1’s iPlayer channel and highlights will be available on YouTube and via BBC iPlayer.

In the lead up to the event, 1Xtra will also be bringing its Street Studio to Liverpool, giving any local MC’s the chance to spit some bars, with the best having the chance to make their way on air, as well as DJ Target presenting his Homegrown show from BBC Merseyside on Sunday 2nd October.

In the run up to 1Xtra Live, 1Xtra Outreach and Liverpool International Music Festival’s LIMF Academy will present an exciting programme of free music industry-focused events across the city. This exciting collaboration will offer music & media industry insights and unique experiences to local young people, and opportunities for work alongside the team at 1Xtra live itself. 1Xtra presenters involved in these events include A.Dot, Yasmin Evans, Charlie Sloth, Target, Mistajam and Jamz Supernova, covering topics like ‘Music Biz 101’, From Flyers to Fame: Putting on your own event’, ‘Get in’ with BBC Academy, showcases, music masterclasses and demo sessions.

More details and ticketing information will be available at and soon.

Sisters Launch London Based Creative & Production Agency, ‘Black Star Originals’

logoIn a stellar year for women in music and the creative industries, London based creative and production agency Black Star Originals – founded in South-east London by entrepreneur sisters Akua & Abena Ofei – is the latest name to take its place among the innovators.

Celebrity and fashion stylist and creative director Abena Ofei has built her career working primarily in magazine publishing as well as working with a numerous talents that ranges from sporting heroes such as Wayne Rooney, Usain Bolt, David Haye, Jenson Button and Ryan Giggs. Styling international artistic talents that includes Tom Hardy, Ray Winstone, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Hiddleston, Jamie Dornan and Sir Ian McKellan. Some of the best known bands and names in music – Foals, The Killers, The Vaccines, Keane, Justin Timberlake, Jake Bugg, and Tinie Tempah. Her work is regularly featured in both leading national and international publications.

As a social media consultant and music writer Akua Ofei gained funding from the national enterprise allowance scheme in 2015 and in the year since has grown her first business Just Add Social, maintaining all aspects from content creation, website maintenance and lead generation.

Just Add Social is aimed at providing social enterprises and charitable organisations with cost effective social media campaign planning and best practice. A consultant with ethically minded brands Oxfam and the Stephen Lawrence charitable trust by day she is a regular feature writer for music publications -Gigs Lutz, Radar Radio, Pardon My Blog and We Plug Good Music.

A combination of multi-disciplinary talents Black Star Originals offer production, creative direction, styling, casting, content marketing solutions and social media campaign planning. Their debut video feature series ‘On Set With…’ due later this year will take audiences behind-the-scenes with some of London’s freshest innovators. Episode one sees viewers On Set With… London Grime MC Jammin’. Not confined to Grime, On Set With… will delve into all areas of modern culture, bringing together artists, photographers, musicians and brands – shorts for the sharing age this debut series from Black Star Originals isn’t one to miss.

Stylist and Creative Director Abena Ofei teams up with photographer Christina Ebenezer for the Styling Grime fashion story while Akua takes on the direction and production of the freestyle short. A departure from the conventional Lo-Fi, council estate backdrop this Black Star Original short dispels the notion that Grime has no style, designer fashion brands like Neil Barrett and Theory are comfortably styled with street-wear and sporty labels like Nike, adidas, and Timberland. style heritage brands like Stone Island, and C.P Company appear alongside contemporary labels like Soulland, BLK DNM Cottweiler and Tourne de Transmission all serves to elevate the story and create a visual dialogue.

Find out more:


Afrikans on Film Festival (FKA Welcome to Busseywood) is Back Saturday 10th September 2016 With a Mutatu Load of Films!

busseywood_2016Afrikans on Film Festival screens films across the 3 floors of The CLF Arts Café, Bussey Building, situated in the heart of rapidly changing, Peckham SE15.

With over 20 films crammed into one day, this 5th year promises to be another where the visitor’s only problem will be how to watch 3 films at once! As the choices on offer at this free, 1-day festival, are truly astounding!

Founded and curated by Orvil Kunga (aka Kungadred) along with events coordinator Vashti Henry, the festival has managed to attract films and contributors from across the African world.

This year’s  highlights, amongst, the array of great but rarely noted, African films, include the U.K premiere of  The Unseen, (Perivi J Katavivi), the story of 3 young people as they navigate spaces, both emotionally and physically, in modern day post-colonial Namibia.

BattleDream Chronicles (Alain Bidard) will headline this year’s festival. The first animated feature film from Martinique depicts the story of Syanna, enslaved within a world where the plantations are videogames. This award-winning, film provides a unique narrative in African-centred story-telling. A must see!

Yemoja Rise of The Orishas. Dir. Nosa Igbinedion continues the theme of Africa spirituality as he provides us with the eagerly anticipated instalment of the ground-breaking, Orisha series and Adinkra Arts Collective are proud to be one the film’s online distribution partners.

The beautifully shot documentary Ancestral Voices provides a rare insight into African spirituality, ritual and tradition and we will also screen, The U.K festival premiere of Goats for Votes (Kenya). Filmed post the volatile 2013 elections in Kenya, this documentary gives a humorous but at times troubling look at how, the often divisive voting strategies of the adults, may have affected the political strategy of the young as 3 students campaign to become president of their local school.

Docs. I Am Sean Bell (Stacey Muhammad, U.S) Media, Telema (Telema, DRCongo), Soccer My Saviour (Kyri Evangelou), along with Black Power Journals (Shanice Brodie, U.K), will incite and invoke as we discuss the continued mistreatment of the Blak body with activist Twilight Bey and dir Shanice Brodie.

Award-winning dir. Amelia Umhire (Polyglot/Mugabo) and festival newcomer, Sethalawozi Kentane (Women Undressed/Who Do you Think You are) will be premiering new work and will be travelling to the U.K to join our informed panel to discuss What is Blak industry? With Fiona Lamptey (Film4), Akua Gyamfi (The British Blacklist), Shola Amoo (NFTS), Nadia Denton (author), David Cornwall (ceo Scorpion TV).

Featuring a live performance from poet Zena Edwards and the ‘Young Voices that Shake project’, live drum and dance, eye and mouth-watering authentic cuisine and a vibrant African market, all roads, streams and rivers must lead to #AFRIKANSONFILMFESTIVAL


Full programme

The Unseen
BattleDream Chronicle
Yemoja: Rise of The Orishas
Ancestral Voices




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