100 Black Screen Icons: Who is the greatest?
Who are the leading personalities who have shaped the world of black film?
Which black directors, actors, writers, and technical innovators have been
most influential in shaping film and television? 100 Black Screen Icons is
a unique website that sheds light on 100 of the most significant black
personalities in film and television and asks visitors to vote on their
favourite in four different categories.
Launched by Every Generation Media and the BFI, and sponsored by the UK
Film Council and the BBC, 100 Black Screen Icons promotes and celebrates
black creative screen talent from the African Diaspora and aims to educate
and engage audiences from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
In the first-ever online poll of its kind, 100 Black Screen Icons features
international personalities ranging from bankable stars such as Denzel
Washington and Halle Berry to the critically heralded, like Ousmane
Sembene and Oscar Michieux, as well as developing talent exemplified by
British actors Ashley Walters, Sophie Okenodo, Marianne Jean-Baptiste and
Adrian Lester. Recognising those who have broken ground in terms of
innovation, craftsmanship and style, the website is interactive, highly
educational and entertaining.
Every Generation Media has an impressive track record in putting similar
online polls together, including 100 Great Black Britons – launched in
response to a poll of 100 Great Britons which failed to include a single
black nominee. The poll is a continuation of the BFI's earlier and
tremendously influential Black World project that organised over 40
national projects and events such as local and national film seasons, film
and DVD releases, education projects, workshops, and mixed-media music and
Amanda Nevill, BFI Director, said: ‘We believe the 100 Black Screen Icons
website will not only promote the cultural and creative importance of
black professionals in film and television, but will also inspire young
people globally in the future to pursue a career in film and television.
‘It is our hope that the website will become a definitive guide to black
film, as well as an educational learning resource and entertaining medium
which can reach a huge range of audiences all over the world.'
The nominations list has been compiled with the help of an expert panel of
film practitioners, and includes directors, actors, writers and technical
innovators, and covers film and television genres and eras from the past
100 years. The nominees come from UK, Europe, North America, Africa and
Over a three-month voting period, the public will be asked to choose their
favourite Black Screen Icon, as well as other categories including Best
All Time film and Best Black British talent. There will also be a category
for People's Choice where icons outside the main 100 list can be nominated
by members of the public.
Patrick Vernon, Publisher of Every Generation Media, said: ‘Black actors
and directors have contributed enormously to film and television in the UK
and globally. We are proud to have a significant number of elder
statespeople from the world of film, such as Hattie McDaniel, Angela
Bassett and Paul Robeson as well as representation from the increasing
number of black British actors who are now breaking through in Hollywood,
and directors and actors who have made a significant mark in the UK, such
as John Akomfrah, Cathy Tyson and Lennie James.
‘Recognising those who have broken ground in terms of innovation,
craftsmanship and style, 100 Black Screen Icons is a landmark in
celebrating the achievements of this important and culturally significant
group of nominees.'