Legacy: British Urban Film Festival

On 27 December 2019, it was announced in the New Year’s Honours list that British Urban Film Festival founder and Chairman Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe is to receive an MBE for services to the Black and Minority Ethnic film industry.[12]


On 5 March 2020, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe was awarded with his MBE medal by HRH Charles, Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace.[13]

On 10 March 2020, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe was announced as 1 of the 100 most influential
people in London in a list published by the London Power 100.[14]

On 2 June 2020, Pride Magazine Nigeria published a story in which Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe called out BAFTA for their hypocrisy on social media over a Black Lives Matter tweet the film charity published as a response to the death of unarmed Black American civilian George Floyd. [15][16]

On 29 July 2020 Niall Paterson (journalist) (from Sky News) interviewed Emmanuel Anylam-
Osigwe (founder of the British Urban Film Festival). The discussion centered on the UK
Government’s announcement of a £500 million pound scheme to help Film and TV struggling
with COVID-19-related insurance costs.

On 29 August 2020 Gamal Fahnbulleh from Sky News spoke with Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe in the hours following the untimely death of actor Chadwick Boseman at the age of 43. His
comments were later used online in a Sky News article which was headlined “Why did Black
Panther have such a huge impact”.[13]

On 5 October 2020 it was announced that the British Urban Film Festival was granted BAFTA
accredited status by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.[17] As a Section B
qualifying festival, British short films must be selected to screen at BUFF plus another Section B qualifying festival over a 12-month period before the film can be entered for BAFTA eligibility. It was also announced that BUFF was granted AMAA-qualifying status by the African Movie Academy Awards.

On 8 December 2020, the opening virtual event of the 2020 British Urban Film Festival featured a 90-minute interview moderated by Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe. Entitled ‘The Changing Faces of BAFTA’, the guest panellists were BAFTA chair Krishnendu Majumdar (the first person of colour appointed to the post in its 73-year history) and BAFTA film committee chair Marc Samuelson.[18]

On 18 December 2020, the British Urban Film Festival became the first UK film festival to host all of its official selections (71 in total) on Apple with the launch of a room on the Apple TV app.[19] An additional 16 films were screened as part of BUFF On Demand on the festival’s official website.

On 25 December 2020, the 6th annual BUFF awards were held at Met Film School, Ealing Studios and solo hosted by the actor & filmmaker Femi Oyeniran. [20] Awards were handed out in 6 categories including best short film (sponsored by Goldfinch) and won by ‘HungryJoe’ (directed by Paul Holbrook & Sam Dawe); best actress (won by Ruby Barker for How to Stop a Recurring Dream); best actor (won by Stefan Davis for The Tale of The Fatherless); best documentary (sponsored by Greenlit Fund) and won by director Stephan Pierre Mitchell for Deleted; best live script (presented by First Flights and won by Charlie Taylor for Chalice and Blade, Brendan Kelly for Made in America and Tim Mallon for Hellwater; best feature film (sponsored by Woolfcub Productions) and won by director Ed Morris for ‘How to Stop a Recurring Dream’ and best comedy ‘Cleaning House’ (directed by Shahaub Roudbari).


On 30 April 2021, following a newspaper report in the Guardian newspaper which documented the conduct of BAFTA and the alleged historical conduct of a previous winner of a BUFF award, [21] The British Urban Film Festival revoked their status as a BAFTA qualifying film festival. Founder Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe and managing director Clare Anyiam-Osigwe also revoked their BAFTA voting memberships, BUFF also stripped Noel Clarke of the honorary award he received in 2019.


On 6 May 2021, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe was interviewed on Sky News by arts and entertainment correspondent Lucy Cotter. In the interview, he called for resignations at BAFTA following their handling of the Noel Clarke sexual allegations.[22]

On 7 September 2021, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe was appointed to the jury of the Caribbean 
Tales International Film Festival (in partnership with the Toronto International Film Festival. Anyiam-Osigwe served as one of five jurors who oversaw pitches for five feature films from UK/ Canadian/Caribbean co-productions which were developed as part of the 13th annual Creatives of Colour Incubator hub.[23]


On 10 September 2021, it was announced that Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe had been appointed as chief columnist for Screenlately.com, providing expert film and TV analysis on a weekly basis.[24]



On 16 September 2021, following an appeal by actors and filmmakers and a change of heart from senior management, the British Urban Film Festival was re-instated to Section B of the BAFTA Qualifying Festivals List.


Speaking at a virtual Black History Month public lecture series hosted by Anglia Ruskin University on 6 October 2021, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe announced that he will be stepping down as director of the British Urban Film Festival after serving 2 terms and 16 years.[25] His successor was revealed as London-based actor Justin Chinyere (“Venus vs Mars’, ‘No Shade).[26].


On 15 October 2021, it was announced that Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe is to produce his 2nd feature film ‘Finding Forever under the BUFF Originals banner (BUFF Originals is the production arm of the British Urban Film Festival). [27]. The film is to be written and directed by Clare Anyiam-Osigwe with Jesse Quinones serving as producer and Ajaib Singh Kalsi as associate producer.[28]


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