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The BUFF Blog (May 2009)

Official. This is the 2nd edition of the gospel truth, taking a look at the most powerful institution ever created – the media – and putting its’ own spin on things. Previously on this blog, the discussion focused on Britain’s Got Talent and the issue about Susan Boyle’s buffness. Needless to say, it did become a factor, ultimately as although she overcame adversity to reach the final, Diversity triumphed. Never has a truer phrase been spoken of late. Everything about Diversity spoke a lot for the UK and although I confess to not having watched a single episode of the UK’s most watched television programme in 5 years, my confidence in the british people has been partially restored. Talent prevailed in the end, and the majority of the 10 million votes, cast from the 19 million people who watched seemed to agree.

Whilst we’re on this talent theme, the British Urban Film Festival – one of the newest additions to London’s social calendar – has just launched its’ campaign to find ‘the next adulthood’. Why Adulthood? Well it says so on its’ website. That aside, if you were asked to explain to the man in the street one film that sums up the British Urban Film Festival, it would be Adulthood. Released last summer, Adulthood was one of those rare things in cinema, a successful british sequel, core to its’ roots. Even more rare was the record 4.2 billion dollars British films took at the world box office last year. Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia and The Dark Knight – the three biggest successes – alone contributed £100 million to the UK economy just by filming in the UK. According to figures released by the UK Film Council, a third of cinema admissions last year were for UK films. Speaking to those who work on the British Urban Film Festival, I know that there’s an emphasis to champion UK talent and British directors. You’ll be surprised to hear that interest for this year’s festival has come from far and wide: America, Canada, Holland, Poland, Cuba, Greece, Italy, Spain, Norway and Russia. One hopes that this balance can be re-dressed and judging from some of the UK films currently in production, it looks like the festival will be spoilt for choice this year.

One of the hits from last year’s festival was Billy Blaze, a mockumentary which centered around a fictitious rapper from Newcastle and his plans to make it big (Think Alan Partridge and Vanilla Ice rolled into one). The film was well received by press and audiences alike and is the brainchild of Daily Mirror journalist Jessica Grace Mellor. Who needs the South Bank Show when you’ve got the British Urban Film Festival championing the best that the UK has to offer?
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