Black britain on film

Explore Menelik’s entire film catalogue spanning four decades shining light on black stories and perpectives

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A Trailblazer in

Black British Cinema


Menelik Shabazz (30th May 1954 – 28th June 2021) was an award-winning UK film director, producer, and writer – a key pioneer in the development of contemporary black British cinema. Born in St. John, Barbados, he is known for a number of films including Burning An Illusion, Catch A Fire, The Story of Lovers Rock, Looking for Love and many others. He was also founder of and Chief Executive of SunRa Pictures, cofounder of CEDDO film collective; bfm magazine, a groundbreaking black filmmakers magazine (now re-established online as https://bfmmag.com); and the bfm International Black Film Festival based in the UK (the largest of its kind in Europe).

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Stories Behind the Films

Read the stories behind each of Menelik’s films

Burning an Illusion photoshoot

The Spirits Return

Learn more about Menelik Shabazz’s final feature film project in his own words.



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