What a reception I had for the LOOKING FOR LOVE Premiere on the 23rd May, 2015!!!

I couldn’t have written a better script. A sell out event !! A great response from 400 people !! Thank you to everyone – audience, crew, cast, crowdfunders, family, friends – who helped me to bring LOOKING FOR LOVE to fruition. This was my Oscar/BAFTA celebration all in one. To me as an artist, validation from my own community is the greatest experience. Not that I have had a BAFTA to judge, but those accolades come on the back of the public who spend their hard earn money to support your work and make it rise to the top to be recognized by others. This public validation is like a lift off into space, giving me the boost to know the film is going to do well at the UK cinema box office. It was the same feeling I had with THE STORY OF LOVER’S ROCK which had a similar reaction at the same venue in 2011.

Next up LOOKING FOR LOVE is going to open the BFM International Film Festival (bfmiff) on the 2nd of July, which will be another sell-out without a doubt. The BFM Festival is my brainchild that I started in 1999. We produced 11 editions and due to lack of funds had to close down in 2010. Now it’s back, in collaboration with the Bernie Grant Centre. I really thought that the festival would never return. However, the festival is back with thanks to Sarah Ebanja at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, she resuscitated a dead corpse by providing the backing it needed. The festival will be showing over 40 films both national and international. In addition there are a range of seminars from industry professionals servicing the indie film producers and content providers. In the intervening years I have noticed a shift in the way that new filmmakers are producing work. Nowadays, it’s all about creating for online platforms. Short films or short content seems to be the standard. The development of the web series and the success of people like Cecile Emeke and other content producers gives encouragement and confidence to a new indie generation that is taking the bull by the horns.

This year’s bfmiff festival is very much concerned and giving support with this new era of indie production.

I am pleased that everything is working in synergy with my film and the resurrection of the festival. Like the reggae song say ‘Good times come back again’ .

Menelik Shabazz