The BBC has commissioned two new documentaries: Black Power (w/t), directed by BAFTA-nominated George Amponsah (The Hard Stop), and Subnormal, directed by Lyttanya Shannon — with both films originating from filmmaker Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave, Small Axe).
Black Power (w/t; 1 x 90 minutes for BBC2 and BBC iPlayer) will examine how the Black Power movement came into being in the late 1960s and fought against police brutality and racism.
It will feature archive of Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X and Stokely Carmichael’s activities in Britain, as well as footage of leading figures in the UK movement such as Altheia Jones-LeCointe, Darcus Howe (pictured) and Roy Sawh.
The hour-long one-off Subnormal (for BBC1 and iPlayer), meanwhile, tells the story of how Black parents, teachers and activists banded together in the 1960s and ’70s when Black children were disproportionately sent to schools for the so-called “educationally subnormal.”
Both documentaries feature first-hand interviews with key participants in the events.
Both films were commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, and Claire Sillery, head of commissioning for documentaries, history and religion.
Emma Loach is commissioning editor and the films are produced by Lammas Park, Rogan Productions and Turbine Studios. Helen Bart is senior producer for both titles.
BBC Studios will distribute the documentaries internationally.