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June Givanni, champion of Pan-African Cinema, to receive Bafta’s outstanding contribution award.

A photo of June Givanni.

Givanni recognized for founding archive documenting 40 years of Pan-African Cinema and pioneering work in film programming

June Givanni, a pioneering curator, writer, and programmer of African film, is set to receive Bafta’s outstanding British contribution to cinema award. Givanni, 73, is the founder of the June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive (JGPACA) in London, which houses over 10,000 items, including films, manuscripts, audio, photography, and posters, documenting Pan-African cinema over four decades.

The volunteer-run archive is considered one of the world’s most significant collections focusing on the moving image for the African continent and its diaspora. It has played a crucial role in preserving artifacts related to Pan-African cinema that might otherwise have been lost. Items from the archive have formed the basis of public exhibitions, contributing to the awareness and understanding of Pan-African cinema.

June Givanni’s extensive career includes bringing Third Eye London’s first Festival of Third World Cinema to London, working as a film programmer at the Greater London Council’s ethnic minorities unit, and running the BFI’s African-Caribbean unit. She compiled the first comprehensive directory of black and Asian films in the UK and co-edited the BFI’s Black Film Bulletin. Givanni has worked as a film curator on five continents, and her published books include “Remote Control: Dilemmas of Black Intervention in British Film and TV” and “Symbolic Narratives/African Cinema: Audiences, Theory and the Moving Image.”

The special award from Bafta recognizes Givanni as a pioneering force in the preservation, study, and celebration of African and African diaspora cinema and Black British cultural heritage. The award will be presented during the Baftas ceremony next month, joining previous recipients like Derek Jarman, Ken Loach, Ridley Scott, and others.

In response to the honor, Givanni emphasized the cultural enrichment provided by archives and stressed the importance of expanding people’s understanding of information. She highlighted Pan-African cinema as a “cinema of resistance,” recognizing the value and contribution of African culture to the world. Givanni’s work reflects her commitment to promoting knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of Pan-African cinema’s cultural impact and legacy internationally.

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