Interview with author, photographer and Black film aficionado, Nadia Denton


I've been working with Nadia Denton for the past few months and she's got so much up her sleeve! She's involved in film – she established and co-ordinated Black Filmmaker (bfm) Film Club, a monthly platform for Black World Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts between April 2003 – Jan 2010 – and just this month launched her book, The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success (which you can download for free!); she has an exhibition of her photography going on right now; she's developed the Black History Month film programme in Islington, London and; she's in charge of PR & Marketing for the upcoming Film Africa 2011 festival. I'm always super-inspired by creative people who dabble in several areas and happy to hear what makes them tick. Today, Nadia shares …

What's your passion?
The exciting rush of life!! The pulsing beat of spirit. The feeling of exhilaration when you are not sure of what is ahead but you still enjoy the ride.

What inspired you to get involved with film?
It happened by accident. I started running the film club as a time filler, then realised what a social statement many of the films I was programming were making. Since then I have committed myself to putting on film events.

What has your greatest obstacle/challenge been?
Stepping out and being who I want to be rather than what people or the wider society might dictate. It is isolating being different, but then I have never known it any other way.

How have you dealt with/overcome it?
Through sheer brilliance and determination. When you do well and achieve significant milestones, you realise that you can’t be so strange after all.

What has your greatest achievement been?
Probably my education. Considering that my mother grew up in a deprived part of Jamaica and left school without qualifications, she did well to produce a daughter that went on to Oxford.

Where will you be in 10 years?
Married with three children!! I would have written my travel memoirs by then.

How does Africa inspire you?
The beat of the drum and cultural memory. There is a deep spiritual intensity that is beyond words. Our ancestors knew it, but it seems to have been largely forgotten.

Nadia-Denton-India-An-African-Odyssey-photography-exhibition-Holy-Pilgrim copy

Anything else you'd like to share?
I will have a photographic exhibition titled India: An African Odyssey at the Portobello Art Gallery from 5th – 14th October. The Black History Month film programme that I co-ordinated with the Islington BME Forum commences on 15th Oct with a film titled Traces of the Trade.

Anything we should look out for in the coming weeks/months/year?
Film Africa – a 10 day spectacular of film and music from 3rd – 13th November.
I plan to write the international version of The Black British Filmmaker’s Guide to Success in 2012.

Download the Westway Black History Month programme for more info on Nadia's photo exhibition and other art and cultural events

Images courtesy of Nadia Denton

3 thoughts on “Interview with author, photographer and Black film aficionado, Nadia Denton”

  1. Vice Principal Joshua Greenbaum wrote in the letter that accompanied the bookmarks, “We hope that this very small token may serve as a reminder to people all over the world that there is true hope in the power of good deed, or what we call in Hebrew, mitzvot.”

  2. This is really very inspiring blog. My hobbies are photography and film making and you really inspired me with this article. Thank you so much for sharing.

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