The Portsmouth Black History Month Film Festival will be officially opened by the University of Portsmouth’s Equality Champion, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, on Wednesday 4 October at the Eldon Building.

Supported by the University of Portsmouth Multicultural Staff Forum and Student Union and Film Hub South East is an exhibitor focused organisation formed in 2013 as part of the BFI Film Audience Network. Portsmouth Film Society presents its seventh Black History Month Festival season of films. PFS presents the work of four special films in the Eldon Building, Middle Street, Southsea during October.

Last year’s blockbuster Hollywood film Hidden Figures will open the festival at a special event that will also be attended by the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and other dignitaries.

Hidden Figures recounts the lives of a group of African-American female mathematicians who served as the brains behind the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.

The next film, Loving, celebrates real-life courage of a couple who challenged the law against inter-racial marriage in 1967 Caroline County, Virginia. This will be screened on 12 October.

I am Not Your Negro is a 2016 documentary film directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. The film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin’s reminiscences of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr, as well as his personal observations of American history. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards and will be shown on 19 October. Introduction talk from Priscilla Igwe, the director of The New Black Film Collective, London.

A United Kingdom is a film based on a true story of the marriage between Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, to a London office worker, Ruth Williams, which had consequences that went far into the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. We have a guest speaker from PRENO (Portsmouth Race Equality Network Organisation)

This film will close the season following a talk by Selena Carty, founder of Black Poppy Rose, at a free public lecture on 25 October to mark the contribution of black soldiers in the world wars. Details of the free lecture can be found on

“I’m delighted to support the festival which seeks to highlight equality issues that are very important to a university like Portsmouth as we strengthen our position in the global market,” said Professor Ahluwalia.

Price of entry is £6.00 tickets can be purchased prior to the event on the website or at the box office, Room 1.10 Eldon Building, Middle Street Southsea. A Portsmouth Film Society Season Pass is £20 per season and a three film passcard £12.


Wednesday 4 October, 7pm | 127min | PG | USA | 2016

As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African- American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on unbelievable true life stories, we follow them as they quickly rise through the ranks of NASA specially tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return.

The festival launch event will start at 6:15 pm with an introductory talk by Pal Ahluwalia, Equality Champion at the University of Portsmouth.


Thursday 12 October, 7pm 120min | 12A | USA | 2016

Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who married and then spent the next nine years ghting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Loving takes an understated approach to telling a painful – and still relevant – real-life tale, with sensitive performances breathing additional life into a superlative historical drama.


Wednesday 18 October, 7pm 120min | 12 | USA | 2016

Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and with unprecedented access to James Baldwin’s original work. A radical narration about race in America that tracks the lives and assassinations of Baldwin’s friends, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Medgar Evers. Introduction talk from Priscilla Igwe, Director of The New Black Film Collective, London.


Wednesday 25 October, 7:30pm 111min | PG | UK | 2016

 In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London of ce worker. Their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium and gold and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana. We have a guest speaker from PRENO (Portsmouth Race Equality Network Organisation).

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