Director Dee Rees on set in 2018 for her stirring,'The Last Thing He Wanted' Laura T. Magruder/Netlix

Filmmakers To Follow:

  • Ava Duvernay

Director of Selma, When They See Us, 13th and A Wrinkle In Time, Duvernay is a voice one needs to know. An accomplished producer, writer and director, Duvernay continues to work tirelessly to amplify the voices of people of colour.

@ava  |  @ava

  • Barry Jenkins

Director, writer, and all round incredible person, Jenkins continues to pursue, invest and represent black lives. 

@BarryJenkins | @bandrybarry

  • Abraham Adeyemi

Adeyemi is an award-winning filmmaker originally from South London. His directorial debut, ‘No More Wings’, is a testament to his skills as a writer and upcoming director. 

@abeislegend | @abeislegend

  • Dee Rees

American writer and director, Dee Rees is renowned for her incredible 2017 film Mudbound and continues to produce work that is both evocative and challenging. 

Other people to follow:

  • Baff Akoto (@baffakoto)
  • Onyinye Egenti (@onyinyeegenti)
  • Cornelius Walker (@MrWalker_)

Upcoming Movies to Support:

  • Antebellum (2020), directed by Gerard Bush 

Starring Janelle Monae, this horror flick transports budding author Veronica Henley into a nightmarish reality she can’t escape. Keep an eye out on the 20th August for this terrifying look into a harsh American history.

  • Lovecraft County (2020 HBO), produced by Jordan Peele

Based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, this series follows Atticus Black as he navigates the horrifying realities of racism during the 1950s, as well as the occasional Lovecraftian monster. Again, this horrific series will be hitting our screens in August.

  • Da 5 Bloods (2020 Netflix), directed by Spike Lee

Heiled as one of Lee’s most fiercely ambitious films, and with one of the highest budgets of his illustrious filmography, Da 5 Bloods follows five Vietnam veterans as they return to the site of a treasure they buried years earlier. You can watch it now on Netflix.

Others to keep an eye out for:

  • The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime, dir. Barry Jenkins)


The Criterion Channel has recently removed the paywall for its collection of movies dedicated to amplifying the voices and experiences of black lives. Many of the films featured are classics that explore the experiences of people of colour important to see.

Some of the titles available include:

  • Down in the Delta (1998), dir. Maya Angelou
  • Babylon (1980), dir. Franco Rosso
  • A Well Spent Life (1971), dir. Les Blank
  • Black Panthers (1970), dir. Agnes Varda
  • Several Friends (1969), dir. Charles Burnett
  • Black Girl (1969), dir. Ousmane Sembène

Contemporary Classics:

  • Sorry To Bother You (2018), dir. Boots Riley

It took six years for Boots Riley to acquire funding for this fiercely satirical portrayal of contemporary life. Starring Tessa Thompson and Get Out’s Lakeith Stanfield this film will take you on a mind-bending ride through an absurd dystopia pulsing with weighted relevance.  

  • Moonlight (2016), dir. Barry Jenkins

2017’s surprise Best Picture Winner, Barry Jenkin’s biting portrayal of childhood delves headfirst into the nuances of growing up. Jenkins' follow up, If Beale Street Could Talk (2018) also offers any James Baldwin fan the perfect adaptation with a heart-wrenching performance from Regina King.

  • I Am Not Your Negro (2016), dir. Raoul Peck
Ava Du Vernay on the set of 'When They See Us' (2019)Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

Based on James Baldwin's unfinished final novel, 'Remember This House', this documentary navigates the history of racism in the United States with the biting nuance synonymous with Baldwin's authorial voice. 

Other Contemporary Classics:

  • Belle (2013), dir. Amma Asante
  • Girls Trip (2017), dir. Malcolm D. Lee
  • Amazing Grace (2019), dir. Alan Elliot, Sydney Pollack
  • “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” (2011)
  • Girlhood (2015), dir. Céline Sciamma
  • Blackkklansman (2018), dir. Spike Lee
  • Mudbound (2017), dir. Dee Rees

Useful Links and Resources:

UK Television: Adjusting the Colour Balance (2015)


Mountain View

Read More: Celebrating Black British Theatre

Cornelius Walker on Filmmaking as an outlet for Personal Struggle (2019) 

Civil Rights on Film - Selma Assembly

Abraham Adeyemi Q&A | Cambridge Creatives

BAME Directors still poorly represented in UK TV:

Dee Rees and the Art of Surviving as a Black Female Director (2020)

Other Important Sites: