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Kidulthood veterans to host Buff Awards

FILM BUFFS: (l-r) Adam Deacon, Heather Small, BUFF founder Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe and Femi Oyeniran

THE BRITISH Urban Film Festival (BUFF) has revealed that actors Adam Deacon and Femi Oyeniran will host the festival’s award ceremony this September at the Hilton Hotel in London’s Tower Bridge.

The pair, who first found fame in the seminal coming of age film Kidulthood (2006) are set to reunite as a double act for the BUFF film season, culminating with the highly anticipated award show.

Speaking to Life & Style at the BUFF press launch in London Bridge, Deacon said: “The first time I heard about BUFF was when we put out Kidulthood and it was nominated for some awards. That was just over 10 years ago.

“I thought it was great that we were having our own award ceremony and embracing the culture. I think it’s what’s needed because the mainstream doesn’t embrace what we do.”

The 33-year-old, who wears many hats, including writer and director, shared his ambitions for the upcoming season, which celebrates underground talent.

“What I’m hoping is that we let through a whole different generation of actors and give them the support they need and embrace their work, so it’s not just the same people winning awards all the time.”

He added: “There’s a lot of talent coming through and they can look to BUFF and know that they’ve got a home here and their work will always be supported.”

The BUFF Awards will be broadcast in autumn, exclusively on Sky Showcase in the UK and complemented by extended digital coverage from BUFF online.

Oyeniran hailed BUFF founder Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe as a “visionary” whose commitment to showcasing black talent encouraged him to be a part of the brand.

“I love Emmanuel; he’s the reason BUFF has been going for so long,” Oyeniran said of the film festival, which is now in its 11th year.

“I like his energy. I like people who are visionaries and believe in ideas and stick to their guns because it’s everything I stand for.”

He continued: “I love the work that BUFF does in raising awareness about black talent. There aren’t many organisations that do that in the UK and there aren’t many people that seek to do that and give people a platform. Black content and black talent is still very much maligned in the mainstream.”

BUFF organisers also confirmed that former lead singer of M People, Heather Small, will be headlining this year’s extravaganza.

Speaking to The Voice, the Proud hitmaker was critical of the long-standing trend of BAME talents in the UK finding greater prospects abroad than at home.

“It’s great that there is a platform like BUFF because we need it,” Small said. “But it’s sad that we do need it – it’s a double-edged sword.

“Still, it is great because I want our young people, and creative people to have the platform that they deserve.”

The 2016 British Urban Film Festival Awards nominations announcement will take place on June 1. For more information, visit britishurbanfilmfestival.co.uk

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