ICE Event: 8th October 2014

Film Screening: ‘Burning an Illusion’

Plus Q&A Session with Menelik Shabazz


Burning an Illusion” (1981) marked a coming of a
ck British cinema. A film about transformation and identity, it is a love story that traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London. It was the first British film to give a central voice to a black woman, charting her journey to emotional maturity, emancipation and political awakening. This evening the film’s director, Menelik Shabazz, joins us for a screening of his first, pioneering work, and to take part in an audience discussion.

This event coincides with Black History Month 2014, and is part of the “Slavery and Memorialisation” symposium taking place at Edge Hill University throughout the day.


Menelik Shabazz is an Award winning film director, producer, and writer – known as a key pioneer in the development of contemporary black British cinema. Born in St. John, Barbados in 1954, he has lived in the UK since the age of five. From an early age Menelik watched mobile cinema in his village in Barbados, but didn’t entertain the idea of making films until age 18. This was when he was introduced to the first portable video technology whilst studying at North London College. This revolutionary technology, the Sony port-a-pack, demystified filmmaking and made the filmmaking process accessible. Thereafter, Menelik enrolled at the London International Film School. Unfortunately, he was only able to attend for a short period, as his local Borough Council Haringey refused to give him the ‘discretionary grant’ required. However within that short period, he was able to grasp important knowledge, confidence and inspiration to move forward as a filmmaker.

Menelik is best known for his acclaimed debut feature Burning An Illusion, which won the Grand Prix at the Amien International Film Festival in 1982. The film also won the lead actress, Cassie Macfarlane, the Evening Standard Award for ‘Promising Actress’(1982). Burning An Illusion was only the second feature film by a black director produced in the UK. The film continues to be shown today on media courses at Universities and Colleges and has become a cult classic.

Date: Wednesday 8th October 2014

6.00pm Registration and Refreshments
6.30pm Lecture
8.00pm Refreshments and Networking

Venue: Room B001, Business School at Edge Hill University (Directions)

Registration: Closed.

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