The film finds Obi Egbuna (creator of the British Black Panthers, as well as a successful playwright) dwelling on the death of Martin Luther King, announced the same month the Panthers were created. When David enters, bewildered, processing the news himself an idea comes to life… Either side of this meeting between two close friends in the late summer of 1968, is punctuated by voice-over and footage of Idara Udo looking at us, narrating the context of her father’s past and future on either side of the film’s events.
This is personal. David’s story was unknown to me until Idara gave me one of his books with audio between her and David, as well as took me to the Black British Archives in Brixton where she proudly pointed out images of him. Through research, I learned more about Black History than I ever learned in school, and this was all David’s real life. Black people in the UK don’t get educated like this, and education was David’s number one passion. He himself wasn’t educated about slavery growing up in colonial Nigeria. As a young half-Nigerian person myself, who attended boarding school, there are many parallels between myself and David. I understand his plight on a deep human level, life in the UK, Idara’sin an LGBT sense and has the experience of Nigeria ingrained in his bones.” ~ Writer/director, Levi Eddie Aluede
A founding and core member of the British Black Panthers in the 1960s, Director of the Martin Luther King Foundation in the 70s, Director of Southwark Race relations in the 80s, at the center of major race events including the murder of Stephen Lawrence in the 90s, the trial of Olive Morris, New Cross Fires and the Mangrove Nine are just a glimpse of his life. Once a preacher, still a prolific writer, and always a civil rights activist. David grew up in colonial Nigeria and moved to the UK in the 60’s. When Stokely Carmichael hit the stage in 1967 and he met Obi Egbuna, their relationship was marked by their joint creation of the UCPA and British Black Panthers, the two first-ever British black power groups, everything changed and the world was opened up. Since, he has educated, preached, helped, and fought for the Black British community. This is precisely why his story must be told. Change never stops, freedom, rights and a just world are in constant flux even now, and the memories of what our parents fight for, is still in the air.
Obi Benue Egbuna (18 July 1938 – 18 January 2014) was a Nigerian-born novelist, playwright, and political activist known for leading the Universal Coloured People’s Association (UCPA) and being a member of the British Black Panther Movement (1968–72) during the years when he lived in England, between 1961 and 1973. •In London, Egbuna was a member of a group called the Committee of African Organisation that had roots in the West African Students’ Union, and which organized Malcolm X’s 1965 visit to Britain. Egbuna participated in events organized by the Caribbean Artists Movement, and in 1966 his play Wind Versus Polygamy was performed at the World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, where the Pan African Players and the Negro Theatre Workshop (founded in London by Pearl Connor) represented the United Kingdom. He became a pioneer of the Black Power movement in Britain, forming the Universal Coloured People’s Association (UCPA) – “the first avowed Black Power group in Britain in August 1967, following Stokely Carmichael’s visit” – and speaking at a major anti-Vietnam war rally in October that year. Egbuna also participated in the Antiuniversity of London.
Jamal Renaldo as David Udo
Jamal trained as an actor at RADA graduating in 2011. He has worked on many projects in his decade-long professional career. Recently he’s appeared as Jacob in online TV pilot ‘Newlyweds’ (Kashif Boothe Entertainment, Directed by Marlea Edwards) which won ‘Best web series pilot’ at Beyond the Curve Film Festival. He also played Jay in Mockumentary series ‘Talia Versus’ (YOCF, Directed by Saraphina Mattis) which won ‘Best Comedy Series’ at Black Web Fest New York and ‘Best Pilot’ at Beyond the Curve Film Festival. Alongside screen Jamal also performs on stage in the West End, He starred as Captain Dudley in the immersive hit ‘Dr Who: Time Fracture’ (Immersive Everywhere, Directed by Tom Maller) which won ‘Best Immersive Production’ at the 2022 UK/WEST END Awards. Jamal also performs regularly as an actor at The Royal Opera House appearing in many performances including 2019’s Billy Bud (Benjamin Britten, Directed by Deborah Warner) winning the Olivier award for ‘Best Opera’ that same year. Jamal’s currently in rehearsals for ‘Roll Your Sleeves With Eve’ (Directed by Shamila Sulaiman) which will be playing at the Chelsea Theatre at the end of June.
Bankole Thomas as Obi Egbuna
Yemi Bankole-Thomas is a trained actor and writer who recently starred in the lead role in Michael Mante’s Small Hours. His writing debut came in 2022 at the Cockpit theatre production of Crossroads.
Written & Directed By Levi Eddie Aluede
An award-winning writer/director based in London from a mixed background. They’re most well known for the critically acclaimed sci-fi web series VISIONS OF A VIVID LIFE which won over 20 awards and nominations at web festivals around the globe. As well as their romantic LGBTQ+ shorts.
THE SMELL OF CUT GRASS premiered and ran for a number of weeks at the Prince Charles Cinema in central London, it was screened for London Screen Academy as part of their prestigious masterclass series which has hosted the likes of Academy Award-winning director Guillermo Del Toro and composer, Alexandre Desplat. AN EIGHTH OF HIM funded by the BFI Network premiered at Film London’s shorts showcase in April 2023 and at Inside Out 2SLGBTQ+ Film Festival in Toronto. Early credits include a number of documentaries, micro-shorts, and guest episodes on other series. After spending a handful of years as a cinematographer on documentaries and shorts, their debut film COMPLEXION was released by Million Youth Media/UK Fully Focused to decent acclaim and the experimental short INGENUE premiered at Syn Festival Edinburgh in 2019, previous alumni of the festival include Academy Award-winning film composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir.
Alongside filmmaking, they have successful careers as a film writer, photographer, and curator, with print and online work in essays, articles, interviews, and short stories. Levi is now developing two feature film projects including RECIPES FOR MICA HALLIDAY, a romantic drama with EurasFilms. It was selected by Film London for the New Talent Strand at Production Finance Market at London Film Festival 2022. The film captured ongoing interest from BFI, FILM 4, BBC Films, and Mubi. Though their films are diverse in genre, Levi is known for bringing to life unique worlds and atmospheric environments populated by emotional characters struggling to find their identity. Levi is currently studying a BA in Linguistics and Culture at Birkbeck: University of London.
Produced By Kashif Boothe
Born and raised in South London. Kashif has been working in the Media industry for nine years in TV, Film, Media operations, and Advertising. At ITV, Discovery Channel, Channel 4, VCCP, and Jamie Oliver Ltd.
Kashif is an Independent filmmaker who produces short films and web series under his production company Kashif Boothe Entertainment, he is best known for his award-winning web series Nate & Jamie which won Favourite Web Ensemble at the Screen Nation Awards in 2018, the multi-award-winning series Talia Versus which he exec produces, and the short film Black Man Stand which won Best Documentary at the London Short Series Festival 2019. In 2023 he produced the award-winning M&Ms Fun’d #FilmsYouWanttosee short film “Sunday Dinner” available to watch on Amazon Prime.