DBK Studios, Sky Studios short film partnership |
October 13, 2021
Sky Studios and DBK Studios are teaming up for a series of shorts to air on Sky Arts that nurture black talent and other diverse backgrounds. The initiative seeks to increase and develop representation of the black community and empower emerging creators to tell their stories from an authentic perspective.
Unearthed stories is a five-part standalone short film series that share a common theme of hard-hitting yet relevant stories, spanning different generations and across a wide range of subjects; care work, sickle cell disease, social media culture, ‘middle class recreation’ in the black community, racism in 1950s England and the culture in London housing estates.
The filmmakers came to the project with varying levels of experience and were mentored throughout the production. Among them is Edem Wornoo, a well-established music video director who worked on Dave’s. Black and more recently Shock (ft. Stormzy), Charlene Wango who helped Rapman while he was making his first feature film Blue story with Paramount Pictures and BBC Films, Teniola Zara King who graduated from London Film School and worked as a producer in Nigeria on mainstream TV series and Jessica Magaye who worked on production on Sex education before starting her writing career, and Nikki Fagbemi, who was the lead actress in an episode of Banana (E4), written by Russell T Davies.
The cast includes: Stephen Odubola (Blue story), Hope Ipoku and Malcolm Kamulete (Boy’s Top), Dorcas Shola Fapson (MTV’s Shuga), Ellis George (Small ax: Rock of lovers), Susannah Harker (BAFTA nominated for House of Cards, Granchester, Pride and Prejudice) and Paterson Joseph (zeros and Croix, Peep Show, Avenue 5).
DBK Studios was founded by Koby Adom (Haircut, zeros + Cross, Top Boy) in 2018. The black-owned production company aims to give a voice and platform to the stories and creators who have been under-represented in UK film and television, and to improve the portrayal of black groups and diverse both on-screen and off-screen, providing opportunities for those who may not have access to the industry.
Koby Adom, founder of DBK Studios, said: “Before creating Haircut, I had no foothold in the industry but after doing it loads of opportunities presented themselves to me and my film and TV career is moving forward with all the ideas I dreamed of executing now becoming a real possibility. However, upon entering this industry, I encountered obstacles that I would like to prevent other black filmmakers and ethnic minorities from unfairly encountering. I want to help them get the first foot in the door and defend the property because we have always had the fewest opportunities in the industry and when we do we have no say in the plan commercial.
Manpreet Dosanjh, editor-in-chief of Sky Studios, added: “Sometimes the opportunities for black and ethnic minority creators to tell their stories can be in other people’s conditions. For Unearthed stories, it was very important to us that these filmmakers had full editorial control with Sky Studios only there in a supporting role when we needed it. The ownership and vision of these films remain entirely in the hands of the creatives and this is what gives this project authenticity and integrity.