(London, 31st October 2017) UK based philanthropist and executive producer of multi-award winning short films, Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE has announced he is committing £1 million to short films with the aim of supporting diversity and inclusion in the UK film industry, and promoting upcoming talent from across the U.K.
Allesch-Taylor commented: ‘It’s about promoting diversity and inclusion in the UK film industry at this critical time. It’s about producing short films which showcase best in class talent. The U.K. is proudly multi-cultural and if there’s any doubt about that remember there are over 300 languages spoken in this country. I don’t think the news cycle has ever been more daunting than it is now – much of which is being driven by what divides us. Supporting diversity and inclusion in all walks of British life has never been more important. The film industry has been in the spotlight recently and frankly it’s clear to everyone it needs a serious and meaningful shake up. Promoting diversity and inclusion has to be a key part of that.’
He continues: ‘Helping filmmakers get their first break, or to be able to take the next step in their careers, is really rewarding and by focusing on short films the filmmakers and talent are under real pressure to make an impression in a structured and professional way. We have no pre-conceived ideas of the type of short films we’ll back and I think that’s what makes it interesting for my team. It’s a continuation of what we’re already doing. I want to get the message out there now to go beyond the borders of my immediate network and open up the opportunity to all U.K. talent. I’m interested in a completely transparent approach to promoting talent on its own merit alone. These grants will ensure the integrity of that process.’
‘I am a profound believer in using entrepreneurship to tackle serious issues around what I call ‘Opportunity Poverty’ – the inability of people to access the tools they need or the people they need to fulfil their potential. We’ve had real success with this over the years in a variety of sectors in the U.K. and Sub-Sahara Africa in projects that you wouldn’t necessarily feel would benefit from a business approach valuing social impact and profit equally.’
‘Whilst these grants are based on merit only I also want to explore creating a financial model that may be able to bring some form of sustainability to this part of the film making market that’s so important for emerging film makers and unexplored talent. It’s simply too hard right now for these filmmakers to get access to capital and the desire for content for the numerous platforms out there isn’t likely to diminish any time soon.’
London based serial entrepreneur and philanthropist Allesch-Taylor didn’t become involved in the film industry until 2009 when a friend suggested he executive produce Africa United, (2010), the much-loved British comedy about a group of Rwandan kids who travel 3,000 miles across Africa to get to see the World Cup. He was persuaded to sit down with the director, when her passion and daring intention to cast young unknowns in telling this particular story immediately inspired him to get involved.
Allesch-Taylor has since gone on to executive produce 15 shorts since 2010, including the multi award-winning Flyspy, Bricks and Ghosted. Executive Producer credits include: Gerry, Oksijan, Promise, Call Me Alvy, Baby Mine, Leash, Gone Dark, Ghosted, FlySpy, Lock In, The Riot Act, Bricks, Nazi Boots, Africa United.
Appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for his services to philanthropic and charitable services in the United Kingdom and Africa and being a longtime champion of diversity, for Allesch-Taylor, helping emerging filmmakers is part of creating a more inclusive society.
‘I don’t care what background you have, if you are in the film industry in this country [UK] then we all need to be thinking about the issues of diversity and inclusion in a genuine and positive way right now.’
Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE is a judge and sponsor at TriForce (TFSFF) a London based short film festival held at BAFTA that champions diversity by bringing together emerging film-makers with industry movers and shakers.
Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE
Professor Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE is a British entrepreneur, philanthropist, radio host, and educator. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for his philanthropic and charitable services in the United Kingdom and Africa and was appointed as the first Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship by King’s College, London in December 2016. Allesch-Taylor is a TriForce Short Film Festival Judge and also the Best of Fest Award Sponsor. He was named as one of London’s most influential people in the 2017 ‘Social Pillars: Charity and Philanthropy’ section in the London Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 list.
TriForce Film Festival
TriForce Short Film Festival (TFSFF) is a short film festival established by the TriForce Creative Network in 2012 to showcase talent in contemporary film-making, helping emerging film-makers to develop skills and access opportunities to further their careers. This year’s festival will take place on Saturday 2nd December 2017 at BAFTA. For more info please see: http://tfsff.com/