FLAMIN Animations Showcase New Work by Black Artists at TNB XPO

Latest 26 Mar 2024

News Story

FLAMIN Animations artists 2023-24 at TNB XPO 2024

FLAMIN Animations artists 2023-24 at TNB XPO 2024

  • Third year of Film London’s commissioning programme for early-career Black artist animators
  • Applications for new round open 26 March – 27 May 2024. Click here to view applications page.
  • Film London continues partnership with The New Black Film Collective with additional presentations in Games, Skills, and Screen Heritage at TNB XPO

Today (26 March 2024), artists selected as part of Film London’s FLAMIN Animations programme premiered their work at The New Black Film Collective’s (TNBFC) XPO at Rich Mix, London. As the Principal Partner of the event, Film London’s activity at the TNB XPO also included a keynote speech from Head of Skills, Babak Jani, presentations from London’s Screen Archives’ Undocumented project and Games London’s Ensemble, as well as workshops run by Film London’s Equal Access Network.

Applications for a fourth round of FLAMIN Animations have now opened, awarding successful applicants with £3,000 funding to create a 2-3 minute animation, in addition to a workshop programme with animation professionals and one-to-one support from the FLAMIN team. Run by Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) and supported by Arts Council England, FLAMIN Animations is a commissioning programme for early-career Black-identifying* artist animators living in the UK. The programme comes as part of Film London’s ongoing commitment to respond to the underrepresentation of Black artists within the art, film, and animation industries.

Yasmine Djedje-Fisher-Azoume, Folake Fadojutimi, Gisela Mulindwa and Duncan Senkumba screened new animations and work-in-progress after receiving funding, development support and bespoke mentoring during the 2023-24 FLAMIN Animations programme. As well as screening at last year’s TNB XPO, previous FLAMIN animators have exhibited their work on the Piccadilly Lights as part of CIRCA x Dazed, at the B3 Biennial of the Moving Image in Frankfurt, Edinburgh International Film Festival and the London International Animation Festival.

Gisela Mulindwa said:

“FLAMIN Animations has enabled me to deeply explore themes that are important to me without judgement. I was free to experiment while refining the techniques that excite me in animation, and support from FLAMIN gave me the opportunity to work with archives, which was a really interesting new experience for me. Having the space to discuss my ideas with the FLAMIN team helped me to push the film further and develop my practice – I am excited to see where I can take it next!”

Combining technical ingenuity and imaginative storytelling, the work showcased at TNB XPO highlights the breadth of creative possibilities in animation. Ranging from experimental approaches to character-driven narratives, the new commissions feature photographic collage, charcoal drawing, and animation made with hand-embossed copper sheets.

In Anybody Inc. by Folake Fadojutimi, a mysterious company experiments with a strange amorphous blob that appears to reshape itself in the mould of society’s prejudices. A science-fiction imagining of artificial intelligence that responds to acute concerns of today, this playful film presents a timely warning about the unpredictable and unsettling power of technology.

Yasmine Djedje-Fisher-Azoume’s Dédé is an expressive response to the artist’s heritage, drawing upon the spiritual iconography of the Bété people and other tribal groups in the Ivory Coast. Dédé explores the figure of the divine female in West African sculpture, translating forms found in wooden and bronze sculpture into animation through charcoal drawing and frame-by-frame relief engraving on copper.

Working with archival sound from 1960s – 1980s, Gisela Mulindwa’s Start with a Place reveals how decades of gentrification has transformed areas of south London beyond recognition. Created with photographs taken by the artist in Brixton, Croydon and Peckham, the film is a collaged snapshot that exposes the deep roots of a crisis that is continuing to price local people out of the capital.

­A loving portrait of Uganda, Duncan Senkumba’s Mother Tongue leads the viewer on an animated journey through city streets and wild landscapes to explore the fine balance between urban life and the natural world, from the bustle of Kampala’s markets to the rolling hills of the country’s national parks.

It’s fantastic to see FLAMIN Animations support another talented cohort of Black artist animators. Folake, Yasmine, Gisela and Duncan have excelled in producing an exciting slate of new films, utilising a vivid range of approaches to animation. The programme demonstrates the importance of supporting emerging artists from underrepresented backgrounds in the UK, and the vast potential of next-generation creative talent that we must continue to develop. I’m delighted to see the 2023-24 FLAMIN Animations commissions premiere at the TNB XPO again this year, within an exciting line-up of additional Film London activity throughout the week. As a Principal Partner of the XPO, we look forward to showcasing our work in Skills, Games, Archive and more, as part of our ongoing commitment to diversify our screen industries and increase opportunities to people from all backgrounds in the capital.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission

FLAMIN Animations artists 2023-24 at TNB XPO 2024

FLAMIN Animations artists 2023-24 at TNB XPO 2024

Film London’s Head of Skills Babak Jani opened this year’s TNB XPO with a keynote unveiling a new skills cluster in the capital, led by Film London.

Film London’s Equal Access Network later presented on the topic of mental health and resilience in the screen industries, whilst also running a series of focused industry workshops throughout the week. The Equal Access Network team have worked closely with TNBFC to deliver the XPO’s Black Market, a new interactive space for organisations and freelancers to engage with emerging industry talent.

On Wednesday 26 March, Games London will present on Ensemble, an annual showcase of UK video games talent from Black, Asian and underrepresented ethnicities.

On Thursday 27 March, London’s Screen Archives’ (LSA) will then showcase Undocumented, a new project that seeks to address the lack of Black stories in screen archives. Led by Film London’s LSA in collaboration with TNBFC, Undocumented will embark on a public programme to deepen community engagement through practical, discursive and intergenerational activities, ensuring that the rich history of London’s Black communities is preserved and integrated into the capital’s screen archives.