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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access September 12, 2018

Black British Women Filmmakers in the Digital Era: New Production Strategies and Re-Presentations of Black Womanhood

  • Emilie Herbert EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Cultural Studies


The story of Black women in British mainstream cinema is certainly one of invisibility and misrepresentations, and Black women filmmakers have historically been placed at the margins of British film history. Up until the mid-1980s, there were no Black female directors in Britain. Pioneers like Maureen Blackwood, Martina Attille and Ngozi Onwurah have actively challenged stereotypical representations of Black womanhood, whilst asserting their presence in Black British cinema, often viewed as a male territory. In the 2010s, it seems that the British film industry remains mostly white and masculine. But the new millennium has brought a digital revolution that has enabled a new generation of Black women filmmakers to work within alternative circuits of production and distribution. New strategies of production have emerged through the use of online crowdfunding, social media and video-sharing websites. These shifts have opened new opportunities for Black women filmmakers who were until then often excluded from traditional means of exhibition and distribution. I will examine these strategies through the work of Moyin Saka, Jaha Browne and Cecile Emeke, whose films have primarily contributed to the re-presentation of Black womanhood in popular culture.


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Received: 2018-04-30
Accepted: 2018-08-19
Published Online: 2018-09-12

© by Emilie Herbert, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

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