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Howard sent: Young filmmaker launches crowdfunding campaign

A LONDON-BORN black female filmmaker has launched a campaign to raise money to pursue her dreams of changing the film industry and attend a historic black university in America.

Victoria Nambi is attempting to raise £84,500 in 28 days for the first two years of her masters in film at Howard University, which begins in August 2018.

Nambi says she needed a seismic change for her masters after completing an undergraduate English degree where she says “you could count the number of black people in her year group and in her department’s faculty staff with one finger, let alone one hand”.

Her choice of Howard, the preeminent historically black college in the United States, will offer a complete contrast.

Nambi is looking forward to experiencing what her UCL friends took for granted, namely lecturers that looked like them and a syllabus that reflected their experiences.

Nambi believes that “it should not be the case that an aspiring black British masters student has to go abroad to attain this”. But given what says is “entrenched racial inequality in the UK higher education system” she felt she had little choice.

Against a backdrop of highly publicised institutional misogyny of the film industry and the #MeToo movement, Nambi says she harbours no delusions about the industry she will be entering upon completing her masters.

The odds are stacked against female filmmakers, especially black female ones.


HOPEFUL: Nambi on set with the cast and crew of 'Twister', my directorial debut
The name for the campaign was sparked by an exchange Nambi had with a friend. She said: “When I told one of my best mates that I had got into Howard, he said that I was going to the 'black heaven of higher education.'”

Nambi says: “In the UK, only five Black-British women directors (Ngozi Onwurah, Amma Asante, Destiny Ekaragha, debbie tucker green, Rungano Nyoni) have had their feature films released theatrically since the advent of cinema and their films are directly contemporaneous with [her] own life.

Namibia wants to follow in the footsteps of directors such as Ngozi Onwurah, Amma Asante, Destiny Ekaragha, Debbie Tucker Green and Rungano Nyoni.

She hopes to write and direct films that excavate the lives, histories and experiences of Black-British and African people with the sensitivity and attention they deserve.

She said: “By attending Howard University, I hope to learn and grow artistically, so that I can one day join this lineage of trailblazing women. The meaning of family, history and home continually engross me, so these are ideas I anticipate exploring in future films. I want to create engaging works of art that excavate the lives, histories and experiences of Black British and African people with the sensitivity and rigour they deserve.”

Owing to a combination of factors - coming from a single parent household - Howard’s Film Department not offering financial aid to incoming graduate students - her ineligibility for a postgraduate student loan for the UK government - and the scarcity of external scholarships for which she meets all the criteria, Nambi needs to raise funds to pursue her dreams.

www.crowdfunder.co.uk/howardsent runs from June 9 to July 7 2018 Twitter: You can follow Nambi’s journey on Instagram and Facebook via @howardsent

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