London Film Festival 60th edition of event focuses on diversity

The 60th edition of the London Film Festival opened on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

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London Film Festival play

London Film Festival

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This edition of the event focuses on actors and filmmakers from ethnic minorities.

This topic of focus has led to discussions over the current lack of diversity in Hollywood. The festival opened with a story by a British director born to Ghanaian parents Amma Asante about inter-racial love in Botswana.

Asante’s 'A United Kingdom', tells the story of a real-life marriage between Botswana prince Seretse Khama, who was played by David Oyelowo, and a white English woman, Ruth Williams, who was played by Rosamund Pike.

At the time of the story, Botswana, called Bechuanaland was a protectorate of the British empire. Oyelowo, a co-producer of the movie says it is about the power of love and shared history.

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Oyelowo, whose parents are Nigerians also said that the film shows “why we are proud to call ourselves British and why we are proud to call ourselves Africans.

According to festival director, Clare Stewart, “We really wanted to shine a light on black stars. I’m incredibly excited by just how dynamic, and broad, and urgent and challenging and entertaining are a lot of the films that are coming from black storytellers in this line-up.

Another true-life story shown at the film festival is 'Queen of Katwe', a Disney movie that chronicles the story of an Ugandan chess player Phiona Mutesi from the slums to becoming world champion.

The play is directed by Indian-American Mira Nair, with Oyelowo cast as Mutesi’s trainer while Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o plays her mother.

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