A short poetic film will be released tomorrow, written, directed and performed by critically-acclaimed poet, Hussain Manawer. The film was made to celebrate the creative arts in 2020 and each of the British BAFTA nominees. It is being exclusively aired across BAFTA’s online channels in the immediate run-up to the EE British Academy Film Awards, which will be held on 10 & 11 April 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
The poetic film, which runs for four-and-a-half minutes, addresses the struggle of the global pandemic and the role film has played in supporting struggle, addressing critical issues and healing wounds during an unthinkable era in history. It namechecks around 50 BAFTA nominees and thanks those from across the British film industry, who all play their part to create award-worthy moving image that stirs the nation.
Hussain Manawer said: “Film, more than ever in the past year, has become our window to the world. It’s our gateway, our portal, our form of escape and in many respects, our therapy. I wrote this piece because I wanted to express my gratitude and admiration to all those who give so much to provide us with entertainment, but who also put voices to our pain, a character to our struggles and a home to our laughs.”
The film was shot on location at Blenheim Palace, both in the palace itself and within its impressive grounds. The location was chosen as a beacon of British significance befitting of the occasion, with dressing by Dior.
Emily Spencer, Head of Operations at Blenheim Palace, said: “We were delighted to have been chosen as the location for Hussain’s film celebrating the creative arts. He is an amazing talent and a truly inspirational British poet.
“Over the years Blenheim has played a starring role in a host of films from James Bond and Harry Potter to Cinderella and The BFG and we understand how important the creative arts are to the nation,” she added.
Hussain concluded: “The power of the arts is a vital gift in these exceptionally testing times and I will forever do my bit to keep the flame alive. Best of luck to all the incredible nominees at this year’s BAFTA’s and I hope you keep creating magic forever.”
The film can be viewed on BAFTA’s Facebook and Twitter channels from Saturday 10th April 2021.
About Hussain Manawer
Hussain Manawer is a British poet, producer and performer born and raised in East London. He is a renowned mental health activist who has won critical acclaim for his work. Dignitaries, major brands and broadcasters seek him out to articulate the struggle and shame that so many find suffocating. He most famously says, “This stuff needs to be normalised”.
Among the credits to his name are commissions from The Royal Family and the BBC, as well as collaborations with Tyson Fury and a poetic contribution to Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign. Hussain opened The FA Cup Final, has performed at Glastonbury and is a regular guest on Good Morning Britain.
Tagged ‘The Original Mummy’s Boy’, Hussain derives much of his inspiration from his own experiences and intense grief at the sudden loss of his mother. He is best known for his poem, The White Rose, which he wrote in her memory, later inspiring the birth of The White Rose Foundation. Hussain is from Ilford in Essex and turned 30 this year.