June Givanni, the British film curator and writer best known for her work chronicling African and African diaspora cinema, will receive the honorary Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema award at this year’s BAFTAs.
Givanni will pick up the prize at next month’s BAFTA Film Awards as part of a celebration of her work to date, including that of The June Givanni PanAfrican Archive (JGPACA).
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Based in London, the JGPACA is a volunteer-run archive founded and amassed by June Givanni over forty years as part of her wider curatorial work and is dedicated to preserving the history of pan-African and Black British cinema and culture. It comprises over 10,000 rare and unique artifacts documenting the development of filmmaking across Africa and the African diaspora and has grown to become one of the largest independent archives in the UK.
“I was shocked and am honored to receive such recognition from BAFTA for work that I have been privileged to be able to do with some of the most inspired and inspiring people in the world of cinema generally and Pan African cinema and culture in particular,” Givanni said, adding: “Especially with the energies of the younger generation of thinkers, curators and artists who bring dynamic energies to working with and discovering, the archives of the moving image from a pre-digital age. We are also grateful for the support of the Freelands Foundation, who have given us some crucial Space to Dream. Thank you.”
Givanni began her career as the coordinator of Third Eye, London’s first Festival of Third World Cinema. She went on to set up and run the African Caribbean Film Unit at the BFI and was a co-founding editor with Gaylene Gould of the quarterly Black Film Bulletin they created there. She also programmed Planet Africa at The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) over four years. Givanni has also published a number of books, including the edited volumes Remote Control: Dilemmas of Black Intervention in British Film and TV and Symbolic Narratives/African Cinema: Audiences, Theory, and the Moving Image.
Givanni oversees the JGPACA alongside her co-directors, filmmaker Imruh Bakari and Dr. Emma Sandon, and is supported by a core team of three and a network of volunteers, interns, and patrons. Last year, London’s Raven Row gallery mounted a large-scale exhibition exploring the creation and legacy of the JGPACA.
Jane Millichip, CEO of BAFTA, added: “June has been a pioneering force in the preservation, study and celebration of African and African Diaspora cinema and Black British cultural heritage. The June Givanni PanAfrican Cinema Archive, developed over forty years, is now one of the world’s most important time capsules of the ideas, stories and creative output of an essential part of British and global film history, and a valuable resource for inspiring future generations. We are so pleased to be able to shine a light on June’s work at the EE BAFTA Film Awards next month, including her extraordinary archive and the filmmakers and stories within it.”
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