AAFCA and BAFTA in North America announced a joint program designed to engage Black creatives and entertainment executives in the U.S. and U.K. around their shared challenges in the industry. Titled “The Struggle to be Seen,” the discussion series will offer a deep dive into topics, sectors and industry roles faced by both groups within current industry structures and systems.
The series kicked off on February 27 with an event at Soho Works West Hollywood. The panel, moderated by Tamara Houston (Icon Mann) features panelists Leah Daniels-Butler (Casting Director), Charles Murray (Writer/Producer), Tamara-Lee Notcutt (Casting Director), Chike Okonkwo (Actor), Cassandra Butcher (Marketing Executive) and Franklin Leonard (Founder and CEO of The Black List). The series concludes in October to coincide with UK Black History Month. In all, there will be a total of nine in-person and virtual discussions curated monthly by AAFCA and BAFTA.
“We want our series to shatter industry perceptions and manipulations of Black identity, particularly in the entertainment industry and offer a path forward as the industry evolves,” stated Nyasha Hatendi, Chair of BAFTA’s North America Learning Inclusion and Talent Committee. “The series aims to highlight the experience of Black creatives working in entertainment and explore the state of Blackness in an increasingly globalized entertainment industry.”
AAFCA co-founder and president Gil Robertson added “The Black aesthetic is global in its reach and influence. With this series we want to continue our work with BAFTA to seed an environment for greater collaboration between artists throughout the Black diaspora.”
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