The online launch attracted huge interaction with viewers expressing their support for the initiative:
“Since Capitalism is now the god in England, we need to make films and books for our children growing up in the UK and the Caribbean to know the stories, the truths from 5000BC to now.” Stated Ceronne.
Another viewer, Tendayi says: “It would be good to get younger black role models involved, e.g Marcus Rashford with the vouchers, to raise the profile of WCFF.”
"It was fantastic to see our audience join us for the first WCFF. This only confirms the need for an important festival like ours, and why its educational message at its heart is so important,” said Garry Stewart.
Solomon also expressed how pleased as an organizer and founder she was with the success of the launch. “We are thrilled that the Media Launch brought together people who were so passionate to know that finally, our stories will be told in our voices and to see the tremendous power of unbiased history and films and how they’re shaping our society and the next generations. In the upcoming months, we look forward to growing our community and sharing these stories across the UK.”
The announcement of first ‘Paulette Wilson’ Windrush Award to be given in memory of the prominent Windrush campaigner, who was wrongly detained by the Home Office, and who went on to become the face of the Windrush Scandal campaign was also made. The award will be presented to an individual who has been instrumental in advancing the narrative to achieve justice for the Windrush generation.
Tributes were also paid to Guyanese author and filmmaker Michael Gilkes who died of Covid-19 in April. His son Mark Gilkes and his friend and colleague Christopher Laird remembered him and his contributions to Caribbean filming, ahead of the screening of his film, Sargasso.
WCFF will run for six days as a digital festival of screenings, discussions and master classes. Under various themes including race immigration and social justice, it will celebrate the contributions and impact of the Windrush generation on life in the UK today.
WCFF is sponsored by Solomon’s Caribbean Tales Media Group, and is led by a core team including Stewart, Joy Coker of Alt-Africa Magazine as Lead Programmer, and Patricia Hamzahee of Integriti Capital, with support from The Funding Network and Unison alongside a raft of community supporters from across the UK.
Throughout the Festival, audiences will watch films, engage in discussions, and participate in master classes, from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Each screening will be coupled with a Q&A with a panel of experts.