The 1st of February marks the start of Black History Month in the U.S., a time for remembrance, celebration, recognition and education.
This month is important for communities of any colour, in every country across the world, to recognise the contributions of black historical figures in history and to raise awareness of the struggles and issues that are still present in today’s world.
We’ve been honoured to work with a number of Black filmmakers, producers and teams that have created work to amplify their stories of impact with the world. Read on to find out what our team’s top picks to watch during February are to celebrate Black History Month, and to learn more about the struggles that these communities are facing.
To the End
Filmed over four years of hope and crisis, To the End captures the emergence of a new generation of leaders and the movement behind the most sweeping climate change legislation in U.S. history. The award-winning team behind Knock Down the House follows four exceptional young women— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, activist Varshini Prakash, climate policy writer Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and political strategist Alexandra Rojas— as they grapple with new challenges of leadership and power and work together to defend their generation’s right to a future.
From street protests to the halls of Congress, these bold leaders fight to shift the narrative around climate, revealing the crisis as an opportunity to build a better society. Including up-to-the-minute footage that culminates in 2022’s landmark climate bill, To the End lifts the veil on the battle for the future of our world, and gives audiences a front seat view of history in the making. To The End is a film about four women of colour whose bravery to fight for change, notwithstanding the challenges of economic and racial justice, ignited a historic shift in U.S. climate politics.
We’ve been proud to support To The End by supporting the impact campaign ahead of its U.S. theatrical release in December. Find out how you can host a screening for your community or organisation.
Free Renty tells the story of Tamara Lanier, an African American woman determined to force Harvard University to cede possession of daguerreotypes of her great-great-great grandfather, an enslaved man named Renty. The images remain emblematic of America’s failure to acknowledge the cruelty of slavery, the racist science that supported it and the white supremacy that continues to infect our society today.
We’ve chosen Free Renty as part of our top picks as it is a film for our moment of racial reckoning, challenging us to confront the cruelty of slavery and its dark legacy. At the intersection of law, morality, cultural restitution and racial justice, Free Renty provokes constructive debates and challenging conversations. We’ve supported this film with strategy planning, sourcing screening partners, outreach and marketing.
Find out where you can watch Free Renty
As a young man, director Ike Nnaebue left Nigeria taking the route via Benin, Mali, and Mauritania to Morocco where he was forced to turn back, unable to reach Europe. In his first documentary, No U-Turn, he retraces the life-changing journey he made over 20 years ago. Along the way, he meets those who are taking the same trip and, through conversations with them, tries to understand what motivates young people today to expose themselves to the dangers of a passage into an uncertain future. Most are aware of the dangers of travelling undocumented by road, yet more and more are joining the ranks of those who take this risk. Overlaid with a powerful poetic commentary and insight into the long-reaching impact of a colonial past, this self-reflective travelogue unpacks the deep longing of an entire generation in search of opportunities.
We’ve chosen this film as part of our top picks as it captures the journey first hand through the director’s eyes, and the other travellers, who want to reach a better life no matter the risk along the way. The film touches on trafficking, modern slavery and migrants’ rights, which are all human rights issues that are as evident today as they were throughout the history of black communities and countries.
No U-Turn was a part of the 2022 programme line up at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York, which we supported with our Marketing efforts.
Find out more about No U-Turn here
The Invisible Class
African Americans make up 13% of the population, but they make up 40% of those affected by homelessness in America. The Invisible Class explores what it truly means to be homeless in America, challenging stereotypes and examining the systemic causes of mass homelessness in the wealthiest nation in the world. From coast to coast the film is a day in the life of homelessness across America.
We’ve supported this film by securing community based screening partners to engage with their communities by educating them and guiding them on how to act. Find out how you can host a screening.