2019 British Urban Film Festival unveils line-up, nominees and awards recipients

The British Urban Film Festival (1-7 September) has announced its line-up, nominees and awards recipients.
The festival will open with Tosin Coker’s ‘Lara and the Beat’, a Nigerian romantic comedy drama about 2 sisters coming to terms with the legacy of their family’s media empire. British interest comes in the form of lead actress Seyi Shey who was born in Tottenham. The film also stars Wale Ojo (Meet the Adebanjo’s).
The closing night film is the festival premiere of Joseph Adesunloye’s ‘Faces’, a multi-narrative feature film set across four storylines that follow a group of characters as their lives begin to unravel. The film stars Terry Pheto (‘A United Kingdom’) and Aki Omoshaybi (‘Spilt’, ‘Star Wars – The Last Jedi’).
Other film highlights include ‘Acceptable Damage’, a film about one woman’s battle with bullies whilst dealing with Asperger’s and ‘Stray Dog’, a gritty drama about a helpless mother and her runaway teenage son.
Documentaries also feature in the festival line-up this year, including ‘Song for our People’ (USA),
‘Block and Censor’ (China), ‘ID Project – My Dominica Story’ (UK) and ‘The Mayor’s Race’ (UK).
The festival will also showcase 4 competitive strands of short films along with the Iris Prize programme – in partnership with the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival (based in Cardiff). Headlining the programme will be ‘Colonial Gods’ – directed by Dee Rees (Mudbound).
Actor-writer-director-producer Noel Clarke will receive this year’s honorary award at the BUFF Awards on 7 September. Hosting the ceremony will be radio presenter Linda Egwuekwe with guest presenters including Ashley Walters, Wil Johnson and Femi Oyeniran.
At this event, nine awards will be given out in seven categories with Terry Pheto and Aki Omoshaybi amongst the nominees for their performances in ‘Faces’.
BUFF Awards nominees
BUFF Best Short Film (sponsored by Met Film School)
4 short films will be shortlisted via a public vote from 40, to be shown during the festival.
A second private vote will choose the winner in this category.
Blessing Anyiam-Osigwe Best Actress Award
Seyi Shay (Lara and the Beat)
Anna Ranson (Stray Dog)
Elinor Machen-Fortune (Acceptable Damage)
Terry Pheto (Faces)
BUFF Best Actor
Eddie Linina (Stray Dog)
Aki Omoshaybi (Faces)
Elijah Baker (Acceptable Damage)
Vector (Lara and the Beat)
Victor Adebodun Best Feature Film
Lara and the Beat (Directed by Tosin Coker)
Acceptable Damage (Directed by Lavinia Simina)
Stray Dog (Directed by Luke Hefferman)
Faces (Directed by Joseph Adesulonye)
BUFF Best Live Script Recipients
2019 Best Live Script Winner: Asylum (Written by Eno Enefiok)
2019 Best Live Script Winner: Raped (Written by Malcolm Solomon)
2019 Best Live Script Winner: Loyalty (Written by Jo Southwell)
BUFF Best Documentary
Song for our People (Directed by Mustapha Khan)
Block and Censor (Directed by Awei Chen)
ID Project – My Dominica Story (Directed by Richard Etienne)
The Mayor’s Race (Directed by Loraine Blumenthal)
The full programme, which also includes 4 days of film and scriptwriting workshops + the Live Script readings (all at Met Film School) can be found at www.britishurbanfilmfestival.co.uk