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I Will Tell International Film Festival set to open at BFI Southbank with globally inclusive 2022 film lineup

© I Will Tell International Film Festival

Films from the UK, US, Canada, Iran, India, Ukraine, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, and Australia will be screened outdoors and virtually as part of the I Will Tell International Film Festival, which has announced its return to London cinemas. The long-running festival continues to expand throughout London with screenings at locations across the city, including Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, and a special outdoor screening at Portobello Green, Notting Hill, as part of Community Day. The festival is also offering virtual screenings via its streaming platform.

On July 7, the BFI Southbank will host the I Will Tell International Film Festival Opening Night Gala, which will feature the love drama ‘Purple Beatz’, which is based on the underground drum ‘n’ bass scene in 1990s London. The cast and crew of the movie, which was written and directed by Lola Atkins, are predominately made up of women. The festival’s 16th annual roster, which features motivational unseen stories from all across the world, will be opened by ‘Purple Beatz’.

Justin Johnson, Lead Programmer at BFI Southbank said, “We’re delighted to host the Opening Night of the I Will Tell International Film Festival at BFI Southbank this year and to be supporting director Lola Atkins and the cast and crew of ‘Purple Beatz’. We look forward to welcoming audiences to a Festival that has been working tirelessly to champion underrepresented filmmakers for more than 15 years”

‘Purple Beatz’ director Lola Atkins added, “I’m happy that we have phenomenal platforms like I Will Tell, which have deliberately chosen to be the voice and legs for those who have often not been included in the conversation.” She adds, “To be a part of the Opening Gala at the esteemed BFI Southbank, where many great works have graced the screens for an impeccable select few is an incredible opportunity.”

The UK premiere of ‘Remember me: The Mahalia Jackson Story’, starring Ledisi and tracing the life of the Queen of Gospel from her early days of singing in her mother’s front yard to her rise to fame internationally and her profound impact on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement, will be among the subsequent screenings that will be held at cinemas throughout London. Keith David, Vanessa Williams, and Corbin Bleu are among the actors in the movie.

Ahead of its 16th edition, I Will Tell International Film Festival founder, Jenny Lee, is challenging the film industry to better support greater inclusion and equality of ethnically diverse filmmakers within the industry. In the UK, more than 90% of films are distributed by a handful of distributors from a specific demographic with its own bias. “I Will Tell International Film Festival creates a space at the table to help adjust the current imbalance. It follows then that the festival would showcase the work of an exciting black female filmmaker alongside a Ukrainian epic,” reflected Lee.

Other I Will Tell International Film Festival activities include the 11:11 Community Day, which features continuous outdoor film and music screenings and concludes with a silent disco on Portobello Green in Notting Hill. Additionally, I Will Tell is collaborating with The Sunflowers Exhibition, a painting by Dalma, an Eastern European artist, to help the Ukraine.