THE BLOG

Screen Nation Awards 2016 Keeps The 'D' In 'Drama' Diverse

22/03/2016 12:44 GMT | Updated 22/03/2017 09:12 GMT

The 11th Screen Nation Film and Television Awards 2016 took place at the Hilton London Metropole hotel this week. The awards - popularly known as 'the Black Bafta's - was set up over a decade ago, to celebrate diversity and reward excellence, by a man named Charles Thompson MBE, who was determined to give BAME creative talent a light.

SNA JOHN B

PECKHAM'S FINEST - WINER 'MALE PERFORMANCE IN FILM' - JOHN BOYEGA AT THE SCREEN NATION AWARDS 2016.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

Showing his tenacity, when Charles was honoured in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2011 for his services to the global black film industry, on receiving the MBE he said: 'Thank you, your Majesty, it feels good to know the Ancestors have guided me well enough to have finally taken a piece out of the British Empire'

Screen Nation is the UK's only international celebration of black British achievement in film and TV and this years event was hosted by Brenda Emmanus (BBC London News Arts Correspondent) and Kojo (comedian and ITV2 Love Fix presenter).

SNA JD K BE

JASMINE WITH SCREEN NATON HOSTS KOJO AND BRENDA EMMANUS.

PHOTO CREDIT - JASMINE DOTIWALA.

It was glamour all the way with the red carpet heaving with men in their black-tie smarts and ladies in their regal gown finery.

SNA AL HAM

SCREEN NATION 'BEST PERSONALITY' AWRD WINNER ALISON HAMMOND.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

The night was attended by film and TV actors, actresses and directors; plus musicians and many of the nation's best-loved celebrities and stars including:

Alison Hammond (Strictly Come Dancing), Ainsley Harriott, Arnold Ocen g (The Good Lie), Beverley Knight (The Bodyguard musical/singer), Bonnie Greer, Cecilia Noble (Danny and the Human Zoo) , Charlene White (ITN News) , Danny John Jules (Death in Paradise), Danny Sapani (Penny Dreadful), Charles Venn (Casualty), Denise Lewis, Eleanor Fanyinka (Holby City) , Geff Francis (Holby City) Jermain Jackman, John Boyega (Star Wars), Joivan Wade (Dr Who) , Osy Ikhile (Mission Impossible) , OT Fagbenle (The Interceptor) , Simon Webbe, Sinitta and many more.

Malachi Kirby  AINSLY

SCREEN NATION 2016 WINNER - ACTOR MALACHI KIRBY WITH TV CHEF AINSLEY HARRIET.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

The great thing is the SNA's (Screen Nation Awards) recognize diversity not just in ethnicity, but also age and gender. As well as the numerous British young film talents that they recognised, they also bestowed this year's leading honour; the Outstanding Contribution Award upon iconic African- to American action star Wesley Snipes.

SNA BONN GREER

THE INCREDIBLE BONNIE GREER AT SCREEN NATION 2016.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

'Best male performance in a film' winner, South London actor John Boyega told us ''when you're in a movie like Star Wars you're not thinking of the world, you're thinking of your family and an award like this and acknowledgment by British peers is really important to me and my family''.

Much hoo-haa was made about his winning speech where he included "To complain about what is going on is not going to benefit us, be the change you want to be, and continue and focus." But we all knew what he meant and his quote was taken totally out of context.

He also went on to pay homage to his mentor and friend Femi Oguns, whose drama school (Identity School Of Acting) put John and many others, on their paths to great careers in drama.

SNA JD BK

JASMINE WITH SINGER BEVERLEY KNIGHT AT THE SCREEN NATION AWARDS 2016.

PHOTO CREDIT - JASMINE DOTIWALA.

Beverley Knight told me ''in the absence of diversity in mainstream ceremonies across the board in all mediums, it's important that SNA has come along and filled a huge gap. Diversity is the big watchword of the moment. And SNA are saying 'this is what diversity looks like''. Even with the Brit awards I recall Soul-to-Soul and that infamous Craig David moment where he was overlooked. British acts of colour are always seen as not being British enough. Awards like MOBO and SNA act as fire under peoples bums''.

SNA SIMON B

JASMINE WITH BLUE SINGER / BUSINESSMAN SIMON WEBBE.

PHOTO CREDIT - JASMINE DOTIWALA.

Blue member and singer Simon Webbe stated ''social media has had a massive impact on change. The grime music scene used it to blow up and get recognized and the SNA and other brands are also using it to celebrate cultural diversity- not just black people''

SINITA CHUCKY

SINITTA BROUGHT ALONG HER VERY YOUTHFUL LOOKING MUM, THEY POSED WITH ACTOR/ WINNER CHARLES VENN AT SCREEN NATION 2016.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

Sinitta raved ''SNA lifts up the black British talent, we appreciate, salute, honour and respect your craft and hopefully the world is watching''.

Kassian Franklin, who acted in the successful BBC drama Danny and The Human Zoo, made by Lenny Henrys production company, said ''in the past I never felt I was represented accurately onscreen. Every black man was an urban thug which wasn't me''

O.T. Fagbenle. BEV K

ACTOR / WINNER O.T. FAGBENLE WITH SINGER BEVERLEY KNIGHT.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

Honoured with the highly prized Edric Connor Trailblazer Award, was the legendary and Desmond's fame actress, Carmen Munroe, whose acting career extends over half a century and has broken many racial barriers.

Joivan Wade

MULTI-TALENTED TV/FILM ACTOR JOVIAN WADE AT SCREEN NATION 2016.

Photo courtesy- Colorbox Ltd.

A slew of Classic Movie awards were also presented honours for their 25th anniversaries. Movies we all grew up on like - Boyz n Da Hood, Mo' Better Blues and New Jack City were matched by two strikingly different female ensemble classics that hit their 20 year milestone - Waiting to Exhale and Set it Off. Each classic movie was directed by and featured talent, who had gone on to become Hollywood's biggest names.

SNA CHAR WHIT

ITV NEWS HOST CHARLENE WHITE AT SCREEN NATION 2016.

The Screen Nation Awards is fully recognised by the industry and has evolved over the years to become a prestigious event in the UK show business calendar. The night was exciting, buzzing, full of glamour and positivity and it's clear that the future of diversity- at least in the British film and TV scene- with Screen Nation at it's side, is in a healthy place.

Now we will have to wait and see if events like these, help the mainstream to recognise, that this is also what British talent looks like.

SNA LL AWARD_pp

JASMINE PRESENTED LADY LESHURR WITH 'BEST GRIME MUSIC VIDEO PROMO AWARD'- VOTED FOR BY THE PUBLIC! (GIRL POWER!)

PHOTO CREDIT - JASMINE DOTIWALA.