Bristol’s first black-owned television production company has been launched by two experienced filmmakers.
The mission of Blak Wave, co-founded by Michael Jenkins and Dr Mena Fombo, “is to create content from a fresh perspective, giving a voice to those who are underrepresented on our screens and telling stories that reflect and resonate with today’s TV audiences”.
It is the first of 140 TV production companies in Bristol to be black-owned.
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Fombo, who founded Black Girl Convention and was recently named one of Bristol’s international ambassadors by city mayor Marvin Rees, is an equality and diversity campaigner with a background in filmmaking, including heading up Eight, Knowle West Media Centre’s creative agency.
Jenkins has worked for the BBC and Channel 4, with one of his most acclaimed projects being a warts-and-all documentary of the trials and tribulations of putting on St Paul’s Carnival in its 50th anniversary year.
Jenkins said: “I’ve been a filmmaker for the past seven years and more often than not, when I enter a commissioning room, I’m the only black person in it.
“Blak Wave is a huge opportunity to invest in developing new narratives and tell untold stories that reflect the population.”
Fombo added: “You’ve heard of a rogue wave, well now a Blak Wave is coming, and we’re inviting everyone to jump on board and ride it, this is going to be great for the industry, particularly in the South West.”
Blak Wave is being incubated by award-winning Redland-based production company Drummer TV.
“When Drummer started we were one of only a handful of production companies owned by women and now Blak Wave is paving the way for BAME-led TV in our region,” said Drummer TV directors Tamsin Summers and Rachel Drummond-Hay.
“We’re thrilled to be supporting them. There’s a misconception that the underrepresented want to make niche programming, and Mike and Mena will prove this wrong with ideas that are broad, big and bold.”
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