10 October 2016

BFI research into representation of black actors in UK film over the last 10 years

The BFI has announced ground-breaking new research that explores the representation of black actors in UK films over the last 10 years (January 2006-August 2016), revealing that out of the 1,172 UK films made and released in that period, 59% (691 films) did not feature any black actors in either lead or named roles.

Key findings include:

  • 13% of UK films have a black actor in a leading role; 59% have no black actors in any role
  • Noel Clarke is most prolific black actor in UK film, followed by Ashley Walters, Naomie Harris and Thandie Newton
  • Decade sees little change in the number of roles for black actors; only 4 black actors feature in the list of the 100 most prolific actors
  • 50% of all lead roles played by black actors are clustered in 47 films, potentially limiting opportunities for audiences to see diverse representation; these 47 films represent LESS than 5% of the total number of films
  • Horror, drama and comedy films LEAST likely to cast black actors
  • Crime, sci-fi and fantasy films MOST likely to cast black actors

Click here to read/download the full findings.