The British Film Institute (BFI) reported that in 2012, only 5.3% of the film production workforce were from BAME backgrounds. Based on this, an assumption could be made that the percentage of black female directors is even lower. However there are no statistics for BAME producers as such.
Here is someone that has caught our eye:
Ethiopian Born and award winning Producer Monica Y. Dee has come along way. Having left her country as a baby due to a cou that ousted so many Ethiopians associated or related to the Royal establishment, her family settled in London. Growing up in South London, a vast contrast from her families life style back home. Monica’s mother had big dreams for her daughter. “I studied Law because my family wanted me to, I actually wanted to be a writer/ journalist, I was always a dreamer as a child and loved making up stories.” It comes to no suprise then when Monica did follow her dreams, albeit it taking many years to accomplish she accelled.
She practised law for 10 years then hung up her gloves to go on and study a MA degree in Film.
She currently runs a boutique style production company and in 2013 won an award for her film production ‘Truco’ directed by Andy McQuade. Under the guise of rKive productions Monica founded a successful web series festival, ‘UK Web Fest’ and it will be in it’s 3rd year. The festival receives hundreds of web series submissions every year and the best of the best are selected by the prestigious judging panel, which Monica then sifts through to curate the daily programme.
Monica has written, produced and directed but her love of producing has shone through. Her latest project which has taken 18 months to complete due to unforseen circumstances is an LGBT drama web series called ‘Spectrum London.’ “I am most proud of Spectrum because it is the project that has caused me the most pain yet the most joy, I will always be proud of Spectrum, the story lines, who it represents, and the diversity in ethnicity of the cast and crew.” Spectrum London can be seen on Vimeo and Revry TV (streaming app) from March 2017.
The UK’s Office For National Statistics recent census dated 2011, recorded that the UK population is 13% BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic). By 2030, that figure is set to rise to 20%. BAME employment in the film-production sector fell from 10% to 3%. Monica says, “In this day and age these statistics are really embarrassing. Although on screen diversity is growing, we are often still typecast or ignored. Black creatives like myself are using the internet as an opportunity. You will find stellar work out there, work which deserves big studio backings and to be seen at cinemas across the world , not just digitally.”
We are confident that we will hear more from Monica in 2017 and wish her all the best.