How 'Cables & Cameras' is championing creatives of Colour

27 Jan 2021 BY Gary Thompson

5 mins
Bristol organisation Cables & Cameras
Bristol organisation Cables & Cameras

We always seek to collaborate with and champion organisations that share our ethos, and a perfect example of this is Bristol-based organisation, Cables & Cameras (C+C).

The networking and film exhibition event for filmmakers and creatives of Colour in South West England has gone from strength to strength in recent years and we're delighted to present a new profile on its mission and successes from founder, Gary Thompson. We've also joined forces with C+C to promote and celebrate a number of films from emerging filmmakers, two of which you can watch at the end of the article.

One crucial point Gary discusses is that genuine representation in the film industry is more topical than ever and the best thing to do in that context is to create your own brand or platform, so his advice can be massively helpful for any students of Colour in your class hoping to do the same.

The best way to improve this situation is to build your own platforms and develop content. That way, the industry will come to you so build your brand and tell the stories from your cultural backgrounds and heritage.

Gary Thompson, Founder of Cables & Cameras

The main motivation of Cables & Cameras is to encourage and empower independent ethnic minority filmmakers and creatives in South West England to voice their untold stories.

Over the last three years C+C has continued to gain popularity with with a bi-monthly film night, which has created a platform and networking hub to screen, share work and explore opportunities to collaborate in the city. C+C has always provided an amazingly supportive environment for myself and other independent artists to share our work.

We have screened over fifty independent short films from POC filmmakers across Bristol, London, Germany and even as far as L.A. Meanwhile, the Cube Cinema in Stokes Croft has provided a key setting to share stories and network after the screenings.

We have hosted many guest speakers to inspire our audiences, from London filmmaker Dean Anderson and Ch4 Sports Presenter Jordan Jarrett Bryan to Daniel Alexander, Creative Director of the ‘Back In' film Programme. A highlight has been Script Supervisor, Dawn Gilliam who worked on Boyz N The Hood and Star Trek. We want to inspire the next generation of POC creatives and the best way to do that is to get the best people to share their knowledge, insights and lived-experiences in the industry.

POC representation across the film Industry is well below where it needs to be and in Bristol, we have a very diverse community and mix of cultures but don't often see or hear the stories that affect us in day-to-day life. However, diversity is on everyone's lips at the moment and this lack of representation is increasingly visible, and the best way to improve this situation is to build your own platforms and develop content. That way, the industry will come to you so build your brand and tell the stories from your cultural backgrounds and heritage. This is also the best time to reach out to the influencers in the creative sector in the UK and build partnerships. Show your creative talents and just contact as many of your favourite filmmakers, creatives, producers and scriptwriters as possible. You have nothing to lose!

The two films below are from Rediat Abayneh and Khevyn Ibrahim, and they also screened them at a number of Cables & Cameras events over the last few years. We are always keen to push short films and content from new filmmakers when we get the opportunity, and these both have a unique, fresh approach to filmmaking. They have a bright future ahead and are truly ones to look out for.

Rediat Abayneh

Khevyn Ibrahim

Founder of Bristol organisation Cables & Cameras

Gary Thompson, Founder of Cables & Cameras

Gary Thompson is a Bristolian native and founder of Cables and Cameras - a film night and networking event for POC in the South West of England. He has been nominated for the RTS West of England 2019 Student Television Award as producer of factual film – Make way for the Mandem. He continues to champion diversity by producing Bristol’s first all day TV & Film Industry event called ‘The Conversation’, which includes reputable POC Industry keynote speakers. The First event took place in 2019.

Gary has been successfully curating film events and has partnered with a number of film festivals from Encounters Film Festival to Africa Eye, as well as BBC digital cities, just to name a few.  

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