The announcement of the fourth annual Windrush Caribbean Film Festival took place on Thursday, April 20th at Rich Mix in London. The festival is dedicated to the Caribbean people referred to as the Windrush generation who went to the United Kingdom between 1948 and the 1970s to work for the country’s National Health Service as well as in other sectors. The festival will run from June 6th until the 30th. The opening of the festival will take place in Southampton but screenings of the films that make up the festival will occur across the UK. There will be a total of 40 screenings across 5 cities.
The festival will be run by Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe, who is the founder of the British Urban Film Festival. The purpose of the festival will be to showcase and emphasize the role that the Windrush generation played in the UK.
“Our aim this year is to make sure we honor and recognize 75 years of Black British filmmakers. The Windrush Caribbean Film Festival is not just a labor of love, but a demonstration of determination to see Black excellence on screen. For too long, Black actors, production, and filmmakers have struggled not only with finding finance, but to make and see their work on screen. The festival is a celebration of their work, from dream to realization,” said Garry Stewart, one of the founders of the festival.
Along with the screenings of the various movies, the festival will also see the presentation of the Menelik Shabazz legacy award. The award was set up to commemorate Shabaz, who is regarded as a pioneer in UK Black Cinema.
The Windrush Generation is a significant part of the UK’s society and history. This generation of Caribbean people from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and other islands arrived in the UK between 1948 and the early 1970s. The first ship to arrive with these people from the Caribbean was the MV Empire Windrush. These people were invited to work in the UK, eventually making an impact on the country’s society, population, and culture.
Despite the Windrush generation arriving in the UK from lands that were British colonies and proceeding to work and live in the country for decades, there was an attempt by the government to deport some of them and their descendants back to their countries. This move led to an outcry across the nation. According to the BBC, about 83 people were reportedly removed from the UK and deported to their country of origin.
“They were our parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties. We inherited their courage, their struggles, and their cultures of resistance. We are proud to stand on their broad shoulders and carry forward their incredible stories,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, another co-founder of the festival.