People today have access to unprecedented ways of making movies, yet that is still no substitute to learning about film within a community of equally passionate people under the mentorship of people who can guide their enthusiasm.Alfonso Cuaron, Academy Award Winning Director
The Barnes Film Festival has gathered real momentum over the past six years. They have a distinctive vision, and the festival itself has a great atmosphere. I am proud to be supporting it.Daniel Battsek, Director, Film4, Academy Award Winning Producer
Barnes is a great festival that really looks at developing authentic relationships with filmmakers that take part. Its Q&A series and guest lecture sessions are a great way of connecting audiences with filmmakers and forging a stronger, more interactive film communityCandice Onyeama, Screenwriter and award winning Director
Barnes Film Festival gives you a platform to show your work as well as access to be inspired by other people’s work. Film Festivals are about meeting people and forming personal working relationships as much as appreciating the final product.George Mackay, BAFTA winning Actor
Barnes Film Festival will run from 17th-23rd June 2021 and ahead of that, we want to acknowledge our shortcomings as an institution. We acknowledge we are part of the problem, starting by the lack of representation within our own team. Within the film community and industry, access and representation is not fair, not all voices have been heard, not all images have been offered visibility. We acknowledge our responsibility as an institution, and we commit ourselves to do better, and to call on our industry to work with us for this change. It is not enough to show films by Black filmmakers, or to have Black people and communities represented on screen: we need to actively change the rules of the game. We need to work collaboratively: to form coalitions, to resist, and eradicate systemic racism within the film industry.
We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. As a team and as individuals, we will always actively support this struggle. We recognize, in particular for Black colleagues, filmmakers and audiences, for the Black community in London too, this is a particularly painful moment. The pandemic conflates a crisis in the heart of communities that have already been historically oppressed: we are thinking in particular of those who are already vulnerable to this triple threat. We are all responsible for this and no one can withdraw.
This cannot be done in a short turnaround, but it must be done – and it must start now. We commit to do our share – continue to aim to offer safe spaces, respect, love and care to Black filmmakers who participate and contribute to the Festival and to our Black colleagues who work with us everyday. This is even more crucial now – under the pandemic – we are carefully crafting ways to self-care whilst caring for others, and to resist perpetuating the cycle.
Whilst we know this is not enough and there is a long way to go, in our home, in our work, in our hearts, within our communities, we invite everyone to take part in this change. We want to give a platform to those filmmakers who are addressing these issues in their films, and we want to support the Black filmmakers living in the UK.
Like BlackLivesMatter, we affirm the diversity across the intersections of Black life, and encourage everyone to do the same.
Barnes Film Festival Team