Pharaohs Unveiled is the last film by Menelik Shabazz that expands the documentary genre. Here you’ll find some of the stories behind the making of the films in the Menelik Shabazz Collection told in the words of the filmmaker.
At first the idea for a film never crossed my mind. It was a process that began with seeing an advert for the The Lovers Rock Gala Awards in the Voice newspaper. The line-up read like a ‘who’s who’ of Lovers Rock artists.
Burning an Illusion was written in 1980 and is a meeting ground for romantic love and politics.
The main character Pat is seeking love against the backdrop of racism in Margret Thatcher’s Britain.
From early in my teens and through most of my life, I set out to find the truth through books and...
Aimimage Productions was commissioned by the BBC to produce a drama-doc series Hidden Empire. One of the ideas included Jamaican Baptist leader Paul Bogle.
I came up with a film about the Sus’ Law which was being used by the Police to criminalise young black men and women. This police injustice was raging in the black community. Creasy liked the idea and before I know what was happening I was in their Portman Square office with my own researcher.
When embarking on my documentary feature ‘Looking for Love’, I was struck by the absence of documentary films on the subject…
Step Forward Youth was my very first film back in 1977. I was in my early twenties just out of film school with my partner in crime David Kinoshi…
I wanted to make a film that took a panoramic view of events happening within the pan-African...
Menelik Shabazz’s Top 10 Tips for working in the Film Industry
1. Start with passion – you are going to need it to survive.
2. Watch films from different countries – Hollywood films feed narrow minds.
3. Do not be afraid to jump in the water.
4. Don’t wait for the money – you’ll never make it.
5. Ask yourself who is the audience for my idea.
6. Collaborate with others – makes your project stronger.
7. Prepare to accept criticism – without it you’ll never progress.
8. Keep up to date with industry trends and people – do your research.
9. Get your film in festivals – they help your ratings.
10. Marketing is the key.
Educating future generations
Menelik’s films are tools for schools, colleges and universities and researchers wanting to learn and experience what it was like living in the 70s and 80s for young black people. They offer rare insights into this experience told through the eyes of a seasoned black filmmaker.
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