S.O.U.L. Fest x ABFF Global: London, returns to celebrate Black film & tv talent

soul banner with red and orange background
  • S.O.U.L Fest back to celebrate Black film & TV talent behind & in front of the camera
  • Screenings & Q&As at BFI Southbank & Picturehouse Central in London
  • S.O.U.L. Shorts and Awards, to include outstanding contribution to Black British screen culture recognised with the Impact Award
  • Exclusive preview screening of Top Boy S3, ep 1
  • BBC Masterclass with trailblazing producers and commissioners in the TV industry


Now in its fifth year, the annual S.O.U.L. Fest returns to BFI Southbank, in partnership with ABFF Global: London, a European spin-off of the American Black Film Festival to celebrate Black film and TV talent both behind and in front of the camera.

Taking place from 1-3 September in London, the festival (created by The British Blacklist, We Are Parable and S.O.U.L. Film) will screen highly anticipated titles at BFI Southbank and Picturehouse Central.

Expect the usual combination of exclusive preview feature films, a programme of masterclasses, panel discussions and practical sessions to support emerging talent in their journey through the film industry and of course parties and events. With partners Sony Pictures, BBC Comedy, University of East London and Amazon Studios.

This year’s festival features a roster of talent presenting films and TV from genres spanning from documentary to horror to drama. From Friday to Sunday, take part in screenings and exclusive Q&As including:

  • Multi-award-winning (inc. Toronto Film Critics Association Awards, Canadian Screen Awards, Munich Film Festival) and London Film Festival-nominated drama, Brother, directed by Clement Virgo (The Wire, Empire, American Crime, The Book of Negroes)
  • Sheffield DocFest 2023’s Official Selection documentary, White Nanny, Black Child, directed by RTS-winning and BAFTA-nominated producer Andy Mundy-Castle (David Is Dying, The Fade)
  • The 2023 American Black Film Festival’s multi-award-winning film, A Song From the Dark, directed by Ogodinife Okpue (Cat Face, Saving Cain)
  • The third season premiere preview of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Top Boy, directed by BAFTA-nominated Myriam Raja (Azaar, Third Sorrow)


On Saturday, the S.O.U.L. Shorts and Awards will screen a selection of the very best short films from Black British filmmakers and announce the 2023 S.O.U.L. Fest Awards. In addition to acknowledging the incredible talent on show, this event will recognise an outstanding contribution to Black British screen culture with the Impact Award.

Anthony Andrews, Co-Founder of S.O.U.L. Fest and Co-Founder and Creative Director of We Are Parable, said: “I am honoured to be celebrating the sheer volume and quality of entries this year, as we enter our fifth year of S.O.U.L. Fest. Thank you to everyone who shared their incredible projects and time with us, this year’s programme is certainly one to watch.”

Akua Gyamfi, Co-Founder of S.O.U.L. Fest and Founder of The British Blacklist, commented: “Today’s film industry is filled with creative and storytelling excellence, and we are thrilled to be celebrating the successes of Black British talent. This is a fantastic community that I am excited to continue supporting and be a part of.”

Nicole Friday, Co-Founder of ABFF Global and President of NICE CROWD, commented: “We’re excited to be in partnership with S.O.U.L. Fest for the second year to showcase the work of Black content creators and provide a platform for creatives from around the globe.  It is our mission to continue to build alliances for our community across the pond and we are thrilled to bring an award-winning film from the 2023 ABFF official selections to London.”

Tickets are available now via the S.O.U.L. Fest website here.


The full programme for the 2023 S.O.U.L. Fest:

Friday 1st September 2023


Screening and Q&A

8:10pm at BFI Southbank

Sons of Caribbean immigrants, Francis and Michael face questions of masculinity, identity and family amid the pulsing beat of Toronto’s early hip-hop scene.

Dir. Clement Virgo (The Wire, Empire, American Crime, The Book of Negroes)

Film trailer


Saturday 2nd September 2023

S.O.U.L. Shorts and Awards

Screenings and awards

2:10pm at BFI Southbank

Join us as we screen a selection of the very best short films from Black British filmmakers and announce our 2023 S.O.U.L. Fest Awards. In addition to acknowledging the incredible talent on show, we recognise an outstanding contribution to Black British screen culture with our Impact Award. Titles screening include:


The Perfect Knight

Alie is a hopeless romantic, with much emphasis on hopeless. Her friend sets her up on a blind date in what turns out to be a surprisingly perfect night.

Dir. Stephané Alexandre


Man to Man

Father and son go head to head in the ring, only it is not a battle of fists. They are locked in a battle of words, until the impossible happens – they actually start listening to each other. After so many years of avoidance, Malcolm and Dion finally let it all out to decide: what does it mean to truly be a man in today’s world?

Dir. Shehroze Khan


The Girls’ Room

Set in 00s London, three sisters share a room over the course of a transformative year.

Dir. Tracey Lopes



After picking a launderette for their first date, Zekiel has a full wash cycle to convince Izzy that they might be perfect for each other. The buzz of busy machines sets the tone for their potential love. How much of their dirty laundry will they air?

Dir. Precious Alabi


Jellyfish and Lobster

Brought together serendipitously in a moment of mischief, Grace and Mido form an unlikely relationship when they make an enchanted discovery in their residential care home. But as they grapple with their inevitable mortality, they resort to radical methods of preserving their youthful past in an attempt to obtain the ultimate gift of immortality.

Dir. Yasmin Afifi


Mai Jeruom

On the morning of, Bev and her family anticipate the verdict of her son’s trial.

Dir. Adjani Salmon



On a bus journey across south London, a young man’s anxiety spirals into a vortex of self-doubt and torment – causing him to question: can he trust his memories? A filmic experience through the process and impact of anxiety, and the demands of inner-city life that intensify it.

Dir. James Quinn


Essex Girls

Flipping the “Essex Girl” trope, this coming-of-age film explores Black British girlhood and magical female friendships in 2009 Essex.

Dir. Yero Timi-Biu


White Nanny, Black Child

Screening and Q&A

5:30pm at BFI Southbank

A group of adults find solace in sharing their experiences of growing up as children of Black Nigerian immigrants who were fostered by white British families.

Dir. Andy Mundy-Castle (David Is Dying, The Fade)


The ABFF Global: London presents A Song From the Dark

Screening and Q&A

8:20pm at BFI Southbank

After the mysterious death of her husband, a woman hires a reluctant spirit hunter to expel an evil spirit tormenting her family. Unknown to the spirit hunter, the family has a dark secret that they have sworn to keep hidden at all cost.

Dir. Ogodinife Okpue (Cat Face, Saving Cain)

Film trailer


Sunday 3rd September 2023

Co-presented by S.O.U.L. Fest & ABFF Global: London


Screening and Q&A

2:30pm at Picturehouse Central

Ella’s life’s turned upside down when she is sent to live with her father and his new family in South Africa. When she discovers the secret that her stepmother is the new CIA Station Chief in Johannesburg, Ella’s attendance at an elite international school may harbour its own agendas and secrets and Ella is about to learn not just how political the personal is, but how personal (and dangerous) politics can get.


Classified Q&A: From Local to Global

A business of entertainment workshop highlighting the journey of a television series from a local independent production company to the global marketplace, featuring the upcoming South African series, Classified, as a case study. The panel will feature Kagiso Lediga from Johannesburg-based independent production company, Diprente, Mo Abudu, founder of EbonyLife Media, and Mark Young, Sony Pictures Television Distribution executive.


BBC Masterclass

5pm at Picturehouse Central

Our masterclass is once again supported by BBC Comedy. Delve into the heart of the TV industry with our exclusive panel featuring trailblazing producers and commissioners. This rare gathering of industry leaders will share invaluable insights, strategies, and intelligence that are currently shaping the landscape of television. Explore the art of storytelling, learn about the latest trends, and gain a deep understanding of the challenges and triumphs that define the film and television sector for Black creatives.


Top Boy: Season 3, Episode 1

Preview screening and Q&A

6.30pm at Picturehouse Central

The critically acclaimed series, Top Boy, is to return to Netflix for one more season – set to be the final chapter that will decide who can reign as Top Boy of Summerhouse. Sully’s actions at the end of the last series have rewritten his business rules with Dushane. As new shared problems arise, everything they’ve built comes under threat from forces outside and within their empire. Can they coexist by the rules of the road they’ve lived by their whole lives in a world that is changing before them? Or can there only be one Top Boy?

Dir. Myriam Raja (Azaar, Third Sorrow)

Season trailer


ABFF Global: London x S.O.U.L. Fest will run from 1st–3rd September 2023 at BFI Southbank and Picturehouse Central, in London, UK.

For more information about S.O.U.L. Fest please contact Midas:

Ashley Baugh | ashley.baugh@midaspr.co.uk

Jane Lau | jane.lau@midaspr.co.uk

Yolanda Copes-Stepney | yolanda.copes-stepney@midaspr.co.uk