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reate Next Film Project, John Boyega’s recent collaboration with Converse, is putting young black filmmakers on the map. The vision that stemmed from the actor’s talk with schoolchildren in Southwark has grown into a wide-ranging network aimed at empowering the next generation of Black filmmakers. This initiative brings together young innovators and industry giants in the hope of closing the industry representation gap.

“I want to do film projects here [in London],” Boyega told the audience during a live chat about the project. “I like to develop projects here and that’s what I’m doing, instead of just talking about it, I’m trying to be a part of that productive change… I love Top Boy, I love everything all those shows, but we” found that we wanted more nuance — something that was pervasive and gave us more freedom to play more versatile characters,” he said.

This partnership with Boyega is the latest venture within the framework of Converse’s All Stars Program, a grassroots plan involving more than 3,000 individuals from more than 27 cities, from Los Angeles to London to Lima and beyond more, aiming to champion young game-changers by helping to amplify voices.

They say it’s important to focus on a new wave of Black talent that remains the focus of the Next Film Project. Handpicked program participants will be given access to a robust and community-focused mentoring ecosystem that will not only provide them with funding, but allow them to dream with a couple. his eyes. Filmmakers are empowered to realize their talents and present stories they believe deserve to be brought to the big screen.

John Boyega and Julie Adenuga

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Over the past six months, London filmmakers Ade Femzo, Kaylen Francis, Kemi Anna Adeeko, Lorraine Khamali and Ibrahim Muhammad, each of which have written, directed and produced their own five-minute short, which has premiered in theaters Curzon in London on Tuesday.

According to Boyega, the filmmakers involved were not chosen “based on race” but based on a desire to get talented people out there and invest in gifted individuals who have already made careers. for themselves. “I just want to see an industry that allocates these qualities and talents to the right people,” he said.

Boyega said he wished he had been exposed to similar initiatives when he first started, and identified a sense of community and transferable knowledge as one of the most helpful for actors. and growing filmmakers.

Now a well-made actor and producer, he prides himself on his ability to influence change and highlight talent, especially young people from an ethnic and economic background. same with him. “There were moments I really missed and lessons that I really missed, it didn’t prevent success but I still had to learn it,” he said.

Boyega also says that the lack of representation is the most limiting factor for creators from similar backgrounds, and notes that limitations can sometimes be simply due to lack of knowledge. or fail to access the various opportunities that exist in the film industry. “For me, it’s about building something that provides an access point for restricted individuals to people you know,” he said.

“[We’re] just trying to bring a much more realistic vision to our dreamers. ”

Filmmakers all agree that they have gained extensive industry knowledge through this program, especially from working sessions with industry experts, including screenwriting workshops. and tell stories. Ibrahim Mahummed, a photographer and film student at the University of Westminster, said: “In the UK, there really isn’t much to nurture young black people entering the film industry.

“Usually you’ll only see black people in music videos or things like that, and I think getting someone to show or put faces in a little-described industry is really a source of inspiration,” he said. inspiration for young black filmmakers. I think the opportunity with the Next Film Project has been really good at giving us a head start in our careers and giving us an opportunity that we may never have had. ”

Ibrahim Muhammad, 19, is a photographer and film student at the University of Westminster who recently joined Converse’s new mentoring program

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Boyega predicts a long and bright future for the young creators who have been on the show so far. He says that watching filmmakers grow over the weeks and come to terms with their struggles has been one of the proudest moments for him as a mentor and he hopes hopes its partnership with Converse will continue to grow and evolve into something that presents a lasting opportunity for Black filmmakers.

He believes the impact of The Next Film Project extends beyond these five filmmakers and serves as an inspiration to all Black filmmakers in the country, encouraging them to express their creative goals and make something big. next in the industry.

John Boyega and all 5 filmmakers from Converse’s Next Film Project

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Create Next Film Project is accepting applications for a new round of film funding since June. The process is simple and includes sharing your project ideas and analysis with the Converse team. The maximum amount of funding allocated per project is £2,500 and this can go towards all the essentials to put your film together – so sign up.

All of the filmmakers’ movies are now available to watch on YouTube

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