Regent’s filmmaker Dr Ken Fero’s documentary Ultraviolence has been selected for the BFI London Film Festival 2020.
The film, which ‘employs unflinching archival footage, documents the tragic and undignified deaths that took place in police custody’ between 1995 and 2005, and ‘shows a corrupt system failing UK citizens.’
The BFI London Film Festival describes it as ‘an essential starting point in understanding the urgency felt amongst many UK social movements today.’
Watch the trailer
Dr Fero, who is also Lecturer in Directing at Regent’s, commented: ‘The selection shows that the BFI London Film Festival recognises the importance of the film and its urgency around the subjects of Black Lives Matter and state violence. It also shows respect for our artistic approach from our peers.
‘We are looking forward to the screening, to the international journey the film will take afterwards, and to giving further opportunities for our own students to be involved in the project. It feels like being in the middle of a perfect storm – but let's see what happens next!’
Ultraviolence, a reflective documentary piece, was filmed and edited over a long period of time, but the significance of its messages has really come to the fore as the Black Lives Matter movement has gained power.
It is being released as a follow up to Fero’s Injustice, 19 years after the groundbreaking film examined deaths in police custody in 1990s London. Released in 2001, Injustice had a huge political impact and was successful in hundreds of festivals internationally over several years.
Dr Fero commented on the process of filming the two documentaries with Migrant Media, a collective of radical filmmakers embedded in communities of social and political interest and from black and migrant backgrounds:
‘When Injustice was being released, we continued filming and editing new footage, and Ultraviolence came to shape as a reflective documentary piece. Now, it is coming out as the Black Lives Matter movement is gaining power,
‘Ever since Injustice we have operated collectively with death in custody family campaigns sharing decisions and visions in a unified way. We do not plan films on paper or have a pre-determined idea for the film, instead they grow organically as we shoot. A script for us is written by life, it's the end of the process rather than the beginning.’
Regent’s Head of Programmes in Film, Media & Performance, William Harris, said that: ‘Ken's generosity means that students are frequently working on films of global importance and it is a mark of his reputation that Ken's latest film has been selected to be screened at the London Film Festival.’