Our Commitment to Diversity
We want to acknowledge our shortcomings as an institution and 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 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. 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 s everyday.
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.
BFF, London’s Riverside Film Festival Team