Black History Month
Observed in the UK every October, BLACK HISTORY MONTH aims to recognise and celebrate all vital black voices in history. Here at FOPP, our focus is on black greats in cinema; with some exemplary, dynamic film-making spanning decades, our BLACK HISTORY MONTH film promotion covers all genres and focusses on a plethora of talent from in front of and behind the camera, with 5 key examples displayed below;
Genre Crime film comedy drama
Director Spike Lee
Starring John David Washington, Laura Harrier
Set in 1970s America, this is the incredible true story of Ron Stallworth, who became the first African American detective hired in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Winner of the Cannes Grand Prix in 2018, the film is a frenetic thrill ride throughout, with a composed and stylist central performance from John David Washington (son of legend Denzel). Spike Lee has remained one of the most prolific directors of the last few decades, with Blackkklansman being one of his all-time greats. Lee, also behind the huge Boyz In The Hood, Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X, won the prestigious Academy Honorary Award at the 2015 Oscars and continues to be one of the biggest and most popular directors in the world.
GET OUT (2017)
Genre Psychological horror thriller
Director Jordan Peele
Starring Daniel Kaluuya
Becoming one of the decades most gripping and influential horrors, this thriller made a huge name for both director Peele and main star, the British Kaluuya. A young black man visits his white girlfriend’s parents and is thrown into a world he could have never dreamed in his worst nightmares. Kaluuya earned himself BAFTA and Oscar nominations for his powerful performance, while Peele became one of the most sought after filmmakers in the industry upon the film’s release. He’s followed this with the acclaimed projects Us and Nope, as well as writing for 2021’s Candyman.
HIDDEN FIGURES (2017)
Genre Comedy drama
Produced/music by Pharrell Williams
Starring Taraji P. Henderson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae
Based on a fascinating true story, Henderson, Spencer and Monae are all on high form here starring as 3 African American female scientists (Katherine Jackson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson) hired by NASA in the 60s to help send John Glenn into space. The 3 women are bursting with chemistry alongside each other, with the film proving a perfect blend of uplifting comedy and enlightening drama, soundtracked by the multi-talented Pharrell. Proving a huge success during awards season, it helped shine a beaming light on 3 overlooked female heroes in America’s space history.
Genre LGBT coming of age drama
Director Barry Jenkins
Starring Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes, Naomie Harris
Often regarded as one of the best films of the last decade, this LGBT drama chronicles the life of a black man at 3 different parts of his life, as he comes to terms with his sexuality. With an all-star cast, the film boasts an all-black cast, with Ali and Harris in particular giving career best performances as 2 of the most influential people in young Chiron’s life (mentor and mother, respectably). Winner of the Best Picture Oscar, this film broke every barrier possible, with Barry Jenkins becoming hugely in-demand. Also behind the powerful If Beale Street Could Talk, Jenkins has a huge future in film and is sure to be recognised more as the years progress.
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (2018)
Genre Dark comedy
Director Boots Riley
Starring Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Danny Glover