On the 5th March 2016 Legacy Film will be bringing ‘Stories of Our Lives’ (Kenya/2014/ Dir: Jim Chuchu) to the screen at Bernie Grants Arts Centre.
This film anthology began as a result of The Nest Collective collecting and archiving the stories of persons identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex from across Kenya. After touring and collecting hundreds of vivid, compelling stories, they decided to turn some of these stories into short films. Using themselves as crew, and after turning some of the stories they gathered into scripts, they set about shooting the stories across the course of 8 months. Banned in Kenya, the making of these beautifully bold vignettes has proved to be an undertaking of activism in its own right.
Legacy Film came into being back at the end of 2009, beginning of 2010 as a Brighton (UK) based film festival. I, Paul Jackson was volunteering with a group of other collaborators to produce a set of arts based activities for Brighton Black History Month 2010 & 2011. A large part of the collaboration had been about creating things that could be a lasting legacy in the city. Recognising the major shortfall of film in the UK representing the African and Caribbean diaspora, and that the only way to consume this was either Video on Demand or excursions up to London, Legacy Film Festival was born with a view to bringing some of this content to Brighton audiences.
As parents, Myself and Althea Wolfe knew each other through a local community group for black and mixed parentage families. Althea had provided me with much advice around the first Legacy Film Festival, and having previously organised events and film screenings in the city in 2006, the two of us decided to join forces, setting up Legacy Film as a Community Interest Company.
By 2013, along with the change in government and the disbanding of the UK Film Council, Legacy Film recognised the need to move forward and that regular film screenings/events were the way to go. Althea and I were joined by Issey Osman in 2013 and ever since the 3 of us have been exhibiting films and providing platforms for those of the African Caribbean diaspora, both in front and behind the camera. In March 2014, despite having produced a number of cinema screenings, but feeling that knocking on doors was not proving as lucrative as it should, Legacy Film set up Pop Up screenings across Brighton & Hove. It has so far proved the most liberating decision we’ve made, and by far the best at reaching the audiences and people we want to reach.
In 2014, we ran an exciting project called ‘Who is Oscar?’ Screening a 1920 B&W film by African American Oscar Micheaux and commissioning Hove based Tanzanian musician Saidi Kanda to make a live soundtrack to the film. This proved a huge success and was toured across the South East region, including Brighton, Hastings, Southampton and also at the Rich Mix in East London. The resulting short documentary, made by Cathy Hassan of Burrogrande Productions, about Saidi Kanda was screened last year on the BBC Community Channel.
Legacy Film continue to build relationships and produce work with community, business and arts partners and are currently in the process of fundraising for a project placing Black female artists and programmers in the limelight.
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