One of the valuable features of the BFB, is that it showcases the talents and developments of the time which echo and reverberate into contemporary screen achievements. Showcasing the summer of 1993, it foregrounded Graduation films both in its cover feature interview with Alrick Riley on his short drama Concrete Garden (Riley, Accomplished and prolific director of the currently popular Netflix series Bridgerton-2020); and the BFB launch event that summer (back page ad) also showcased the work of the graduating directors, such as Steve McQueen’s Bear (McQueen internationally renowned, award-winning artist and director, of the recent Small Axe season, BBC – 2020).
This issue also introduced the first ‘Indispensable Information feature with three producers’ who were already becoming very popular on the independent film scene including renowned producer Nadine Marsh-Edwards (Greenacre Films Unsaid Stories- 2020 ITV; Been So Long 2018 Netflix).
While John Akomfrah’s ‘Wishful Filming’ continues here his article on the black British film scene –from the first issue, the BFB also noted and commented on other developments that would have an impact on black independent film in that era. One such was the departure of Alan Fountain, Head of the C4 Independent Cinema commissioning team, key supporters of the film workshop movement, independent cinema at home, and admired supporters through acquisition and co-production of international cinema abroad, the department was referred to as the ‘engine and laboratory’ for cinema at Channel 4. His departure marked many changes that were to take Place as the Channel moved from becoming a subsidiary of the IBA to become an independent statutory Corporation in 1993.
Don’t forget to search the informative sections such as the Listings, Festival reviews and the newly introduced ‘Noticeboard ’for hidden gems that help to provide a rich context of time and place for the sector as a whole and the connections that were shaping the UK and international film scenes.
This first issue of the Black Film Bulletin, contained the key core sections and core resource skills on which the Bulletin was developed and later expanded. It featured some of the established directors and producers John Akomfrah (Seven Songs for Malcolm X – producer Lina Gopaul/Writer Eddie George) and Gurinder Chadha (Bhaji on the Beach – produced by Nadine Marsh-Edwards) and those in the process of becoming established at that time Ngozi Onwurah (Welcome To The Terrordome – produced by Simon Onwurah). It also featured some of the contributors and designers who were among the invaluable resource talents for the existence and growth of The BFB, such as Donovan Synmoie, Johan Insanally, and Curtis Holder.
This first issue was developed by the BFB founders and editorial team – Gaylene Gould and June Givanni – who harnessed the enthusiasm and interest of the Black film sector at the time, to provide what would become an invaluable and enduring resource, providing witness of its time through its listings, information sections and letters.