New series of highly relevant and original films exploring race in contemporary Britain will air nightly across Channel 4, All 4 and C4 social channels
As previously announced, Channel 4 Director of Programmes, Ian Katz ordered a series of short and longform original films in response to the killing of George Floyd in the US and its impact on black Britons, as told by black British filmmakers. All five short films under the series title Take Your Knee Off My Neck have now been confirmed and will air nightly across the week, at 19.55.
The films, each with a different style, range from powerful testimony from people who have experienced racial abuse, to an inspirational call to action from George The Poet. Politicians, comedians, doctors and members of the public reveal why they feel they must urgently challenge racism.
This week’s shorts:
- MY FIRST TIME Powerful testimony from people who recall the first time they were racially abused
- THE SHADOW OF SLAVERY Western Europe's first elected black mayor and protestors from Bristol discuss the impact of the toppling of Edward Colston's statue.
- THE NEXT STEP WITH GEORGE THE POET (w/t) Peabody prize-winner George The Poet invites us to reimagine and redesign the future post George Floyd.
- A currently untitled film looking at the experiences of BAME doctors and nurses in the NHS who have suffered racism.
- A currently untitled film comparing comedic skits from the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s with related comedy today.
The films will explore and debate the arguments and questions about our society that have long been felt but have been given new urgency by the death of George Floyd and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests. The films form a collective protest about the systemic racism and injustice black people continue to face in Britain.
The films were commissioned by Head of Specialist Factual, Fatima Salaria and the Commissioning Editors for Channel 4 are Rita Daniels and Sacha Mirzoeff. They are produced by Milk and Honey. The first tranche of shorts will run on Channel 4 and across C4 social channels this week.
Rita Daniels said: “These five films are powerful responses to the events created by the killing of George Floyd, but what a shame we are still having this discussion 55 years after Martin Luther King marched from Selma to Montgomery.”
Sacha Mirzoeff said: “These were designed as films of protest, not films about protest. There’s no greater international issue out there and it felt key to respond quickly. Milk and Honey have worked around the clock to make films of the highest quality which do not flinch away from some painful truths.”
These commissions are in addition to Channel 4 News’ extensive coverage of the George Floyd story and Channel 4’s ongoing efforts to work with and commission more BAME-led indies. The channel is progressing with its previously announced commitment to ringfence half of both its remaining 2020 origination and development spend for small, BAME and Nations and Regions indies.
You can watch episodes 1-3 here