As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, not just within The Edge, but the industry as a whole, we recently worked with EVCOM and ERIC to launch a new award – The Focus Award. A small first step towards addressing the lack of racial diversity and race-related recruitment barriers within our industry.
The award was open to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic filmmakers between the ages of 18-25 who are not already working within the TV and Film industry. We were looking for creative energy and storytelling ability over quality. The talent was remarkable!! Entries ranged from music videos, to documentaries, to drama the entrants showed a huge amount of ambition and creativity.
And the Winner is:
Magpie by Hamza Pool
“Magpie was produced as part of my university course. It was the first short I directed on the course after months of being delegated to editorial roles (I also wrote the screenplay and composed the score). Many of the ideas I wished to direct in the course dealt with issues of poverty and race, with a grittier and less flashy aesthetic. Due to the films themes and issues not resonating with the student body, as well as the realistic and understated style not being appealing to cinematographers and production designers, getting Magpie made was a challenge from the very beginning. I wanted to make a film that said something, not just a flashy showcase of the crew’s technical abilities. We had no budget, the smallest crew of any other group in the unit and the only film to not use the university’s camera equipment. In the end, all these setbacks became strengths. The crew was small but due to our limitations were dedicated wholeheartedly. The lack of sophisticated lighting and camera helped create the raw aesthetic I was looking for, and the lack of budget forced us to only film what was needed; creating a more intimate, emotionally resonate picture.”
Here is the winning film:
Hamza wins a three-month mentorship programme with us (along with 3 months at Plastic Pictures & 3 months at Gorilla Gorilla!) The runners up have also been given shorter mentorship offerings, and here they are:
- 56 Black Men by Esther Rennae Walker
- Conscious by Loren Alleyne
- Happy Birthday by Jigyasa Anand
- Stranded in Nigeria – The Road to Enugu by Godgift Chidinma Emesi
Congrats to all the winners!