Diversity in Media | BirdBox.film Club | 19th May 2021

In the latest instalment of our Birdbox.Film Club panel discussions, we wanted to tackle the subject of diversity in the media.

We have seen a wealth of new initiatives springing up from organisations and content creators in hopes of balancing out the disparities identified to improve diversity and inclusion within the creative sectors. However, we wanted to get to the root of whether real change is finally happening and discuss what more can & needs to be done to push forward and ensure everyone has a voice!

On Wednesday 19th May 2021, we spoke to a carefully selected panel of talented people about their experiences in the creative industries – Click here to watch the YouTube footage of the event.

FEMI OYENIRAN

Femi Oyeniran is a Nigerian-British actor and director who started his career in the cult classics Kidulthood and Adulthood. His first feature film as a director “It’s A Lot” was released theatrically in 2013. 

Oyeniran’s second movie The Intent peaked at number 3 on the iTunes Movie Chart and opened to sold out cinemas. It was funded, shot and distributed completely independently. The prequel The Intent 2: The Come Up (co-written, produced & directed alongside Nicky Slimting Walker) opened as the No. 1 film in several of the UK’s biggest cinemas.  Femi also produces and hosts an online panel chat show and podcast called Cut The Chat with his friends DJ Ace, Damon the barber and comedian Littleman.  In addition, Femi has delivered a series of workshops to young people in Young Offenders Institutions. In 2014 Femi was invited to give a TEDxParliament Talk on the theme of democracy, which was inspired by his extensive work with young offenders.

 VICTORIA EMSLIE

Victoria Emslie is a British Actor who has worked on Downton Abbey, The Theory Of Everything, 12 Monkeys, Frankenstein Chronicles and The Danish Girl.  She is the Time’s Up UK liaison for ERA 50:50 and the Founder & CEO of Primetime, the global visibility platform for all the women working above and below the line behind the camera, making it as easy as possible for productions to find gender balanced teams. Find out more at www.primetime.network.

OLA LABIB

Rising star Ola Labib is known for her infectious charm, wry humour and edgy comedy material inspired by both her strict islamic and traditional African upbringing. Being the only Black, Muslim, female Sudanese comedian currently performing in the UK she has already gained serious ground on the circuit and has no intention of slowing down.   Ola’s animated and cheeky personality can be seen in her weekly online series ‘Would You Rather’ where she makes even the most calm and collected guests sweat, and in her Kashta Lab podcast, which she co-presents with her husband, American rapper, Ramey Dawoud.
FREDI NWAKA
Fredi Nwaka is an award winning writer, director and producer as well as a successful actor from the UK with numerous credits to his name. He has worked along side numerous actors including Peter Andre, Lady Leshurr, Ashley Walters, Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Brenda Blethyn, Danny Dyer, Vanessa Feltz to name a few. As a writer he has several films under his slate and also has his own award-winning production company called Are We Dead Yet Ltd as well as Non For Profit organisation called Blackademy Enterprise CIC which works with young people and ex offenders, steering them away from violent crime and gang culture through TV and Film.

LEO ANNA THOMAS

Leo Anna Thomas has worked within the Arts and Props department for 16 years within the film, television and live immersive event sectors. She became a mental health advocate eight years ago, and is a fully certified mental health first aider and i-act manager. She is developing a new role of wellbeing facilitator, working closely with the crew and cast on a production, to the benefit of their mental health.
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