Home » Horace Ové’s ‘Pressure’ to premiere at London, New York festivals – Variety

Horace Ové’s ‘Pressure’ to premiere at London, New York festivals – Variety

by Stewart Cole

The work of pioneering Black British director Horace Ové will be celebrated this autumn with a BFI Southbank retrospective season entitled Power to the People: Horace Ové’s Radical Vision.

A restored 4K version of “Pressure” (1976), the first black British feature film, which is an exploration of the anxieties faced by emerging second-generation West Indians in Britain, will receive a joint restoration world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and New York Film Festival on October 11. This precedes the film’s UK cinema release by BFI Distribution and on BFI Player on 3 November.

The restoration, funded by the BFI Production Council and carried out by the BFI National Archive and the Film Foundation, was made possible by contributions from the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation and the Pioneers of Black British Filmmaking charity. It was made in collaboration with the Ové family and producer Robert Buckler, using the original 16mm negative, a 16mm print and the magnetic final soundtrack.

Ové’s filmography spans four decades and includes drama, documentary, musical examination, cultural exploration and visual arts. At a time when authentic Black narratives were underrepresented in the mainstream media, Ove pushed boundaries at the BBC and Channel 4, making films depicting a multicultural Britain, including A Hole in Babylon (1979), The Garland ” (1981) and “Playing Away” (1985).

His work has inspired a generation of diverse black British filmmakers and artists, including Menelik Shabazz, John Akomfrah, Isaac Julien, Julien Henriques, Ngozi Onwurah, Steve McQueen, Amma Asante, Raine Allen-Mille and Dionne Edwards. Ove was knighted in 2022.

The retrospective season (October 23 – November 30) will begin with an illustrated talk and preview of a reissue of “Pressure.” The program will include films such as “Baldwin’s N*” (1969), “Reggae” (1970), “King Carnival” (1973), “Skateboard Kings” (1978), “Black Safari” (1972), among others. The event will also screen films that influenced Ove’s cinematic style, such as La Dolce Vita (1960), Bicycle Thieves (1948) and Pater Challis (1955).

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