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First British Urban Film Festival Awards to air this month

HONOURED: The late Richard Pryor was honoured at the inaugural British Urban Film Festival Awards

THE INAUGURAL British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) Awards will be aired on television for the first time this month.

The Voice, Britain’s only leading national black newspaper, has signed a deal with BUFF to sponsor its short film coverage on Showcase TV, SKY next week Wednesday (Jan 27).

As well as the awards ceremony, which took place last autumn and was hosted by DJ Abrantee and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, three award-winning short films selected by the BUFF will be broadcast on the night.

One of the shorts will be British actor Aml Ameen's directorial debut, Drinks, Drugs and KFC, which BUFF secured a network premiere back in April 2012. It went on to win best comedy (across 10 years) at the BUFF Awards in September 2015.

ALL SMILES: The proud winners of the first British Urban Film Festival Awards

The other two short films are the award-winningDriftwood and I Am Who.

Having screened at BUFF in 2013, James Webber's Driftwood reached the BAFTA long-list later that same year. In August 2014, the film made its network premiere on Channel 4’s Shooting Gallery. Last September it won best short film (across 10 years) at the BUFF Awards.

I Am Who was first screened at the British Urban Film Festival in 2014, and has gone on to screen at various other festivals in the UK and North America. It won best video (across 10 years) at the inaugural BUFF Awards.

The BUFF Awards Show featured honorary guest Rain Pryor, the daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor, and live performances from Mikel Ameen, Omar and Terri Walker.

It will air from 9-10pm followed by the award winning short films from 10pm - 11pm on Wednesday January 27 2016 on Showcase TV, Sky channel 261, Freeview channel 254, Freesat channel 401.

When Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe set up the BUFF a decade ago, he knew he was on to a good thing.

And now, as the film festival celebrates its 10th anniversary, the 36-year-old is excitingly looking to the future to see how BUFF can develop even more.

“I didn’t think we’d get to ten years,” Anyiam-Osigwe told The Voice last summer.

“Actually I take that back. I knew we would, because I knew there was a lot of filmmakers who felt unappreciated elsewhere, and we were going to do something about it.”

He added: “I don’t see my work ever really finishing, because there’s always more to do.”

Over the span of almost a decade, BUFF has helped mobilise and develop young, up-and-coming homegrown British urban talent in the independent film and television sector with its annual free festival.

“I’ve heard horror stories of people who have been scarred by their experiences with film companies, distributors and production companies,” Anyiam-Osigwe said.

“Filmmakers can feel unappreciated elsewhere. We want to bring them to the front and centre. The filmmakers should be appreciated.”

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