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Celebrating diversity at the BUFF Media Day

CELEBRATED: The British Urban Film Festival at BT Tower

PRESS, FILMMAKERS and industry vets alike came together at the iconic BT Tower in celebration of the pioneering British Urban Film Festival (BUFF).

The festival and award ceremony – which will take place this September - will host a selection of films from some established and emerging talent, and we were lucky to get a sneak peak at some of the nominees and films to expect this year.

The event kicked off with a keynote speech from Tony Singh, the Head of BT TV, who greeted guests with a lively talk in celebration the occasion.

From there, we saw the 45 films announced at the festival this year alongside the 25 award nominees including David Oyelowo MBE , Rosamund Pyke, David Gyasi, Femi Oyeniran and Amma Asante MBE. The awards ceremony scheduled for Sun 10th September will be broadcast via BT to over 8 million subscribers (reaching 3million more viewers than the annual BAFTA which attracts audiences of 5 million).

Tony Singh

We were also fortunate to see an exclusive trailer of the British Urban Film Festival opening film 'Free In Deed' starring David Harewood, which will premiere on Wednesday 6 September 7.30pm followed by a Q&A where Harewood will talk through his leading role as an american preacher of 'miracle healing' at a black church in Tennessee.

After the rounds of applause and excitement over the nominees and films to look forward to, actor Ashley Walters took to the stage to speak on the highest accolade he will receive from BUFF.

Ashley Walters

He said: 'I've been inspired to be in this position that I am now because of the people I saw on screen, and I appreciate BT for sponsoring this situation, I appreciate Clare, I appreciate Emmanuel."

After his speech, Walters – who turns 35 tomorrow (June 30) – received a birthday surprise, as the BUFF team presented the talent with a birthday cake and a rousing edition of 'Happy Birthday' to end the event.

For more information on the festival, check out the British Urban Festival website and

See below for the list of shorts included in BUFF this year and the list of nominees for the 2017 BUFF Awards:

This years shorts include:

STREETS PAVED WITH GOLD - directed by Victor Richards
SEE YOU YESTERDAY - directed by Stefon Bristol
JOCELYN - directed by Rachel Wang and Mark Currie
CREAM - directed by Palesa Lebona
BLACKLAND - directed by John Sailsman
JUNIOR - directed by Pearl Gluck
STAY WOKE - directed by Laurens Grant
IN HUMANS WE TRUST - directed by Tim Kent
ADAM AND EVE - directed by Jermaine Wong
CATFORD JESUS - directed by Dan Jones and Chris Michael Fretwell
NEON - directed by Mark J Blackman
LEROY - directed by Marley Morrison
PARALLEL UNIVERSES - directed by `Liran Nathan
WHEN KIDS GROW UP -directed by Shahaub Roudbari
AMBER - directed by Andi Osho
THE DEAL - directed by Johann Myers and Mark Oliver
ART OF LOVE - directed by Quason Matthews
BROKEN - directed by Daniel Alexander
REMEMBERANCE DAY - directed by Rob Woods
HUM - directed by Stefano Nurra
PADLOCK MEN - directed by Lewis T Powell
DEIDRE - directed by Jo Southwell
WE LOVE MOSES - directed by Dionne Edwards
NEW NEIGHBOURS - directed by E.G Bailey
MORNING GLORY - directed by Robert Bertrand
5 X 5 - directed by Kate Herron 
THIS IS MY STORY - directed by Vicki Kisner
BLOOM - directed by 
ARCADE GIRL - directed by Tze Hao Wong
THE DATE - directed by John Dunn

The full list of nominations: 

Best Short FIlm
Cover Me, Hush, Signs of Silence, Lifeline

Blessing Anyiam-Osigwe Award for Best Actress
Pippa Nixon, Rosamund Pike, Jade Asha, Juanita Ingram

Best Actor
Dylan Duffus, David Oyelowo, David Gyasi, Ed Hayter

Best Film
A United Kingdom, The Intent, To Dream, Residential

Best Live Script: TBA

Best Female Emerging Talent
Isis Davis, Maia Watkins, Kate Lassman Long, Krystine Atti

Best Male Emerging Talent
Elijah Baker, Louis Chandler-Joseph, Aubrey Whyte, Freddie Thorp

BUFF Honorary Award: Ashley Walters

Most festival events will be charged at £15 and £20 with tickets for the BUFF Awards starting at £125.

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