Definition September 2023 - Web


CAMPAIGN FOR REPRESENTATION Ferreira’s productions push to progress diversity in the industry, including My Name is Leon (left) and Una Marson: Our Lost Caribbean Voice (below)

then we’ve got a lopsided creative arts space – not only in TV, but everywhere. Issues of accessibility are often invisible and intersectional. “I’m Black, female, I’m from the Midlands, working class, I live in London,” Ferreira says. “I’m not one thing – most people aren’t. How do you represent more than one thought process?” This challenge is too lofty for one person alone to address. “I can’t solve it all by myself,” Ferreira admits. “All of us working together will help tackle some of these issues, because everybody wants to see themselves represented fairly on-screen, as well as off-camera, and have a chance at a career.” MONEY MATTERS It goes without saying: money is another obstacle. “It’s the availability – and who gets it,” according to Ferreira. “There is a squeeze on budgets generally, so that’s having a trickle-down effect. Many freelancers are out of work. People are leaving the industry. There’s uncertainty – it’s problematic and stressful.” For those who remain, there’s a high risk of burnout, with employees taking on more work than they can reasonably handle. This impacts the opportunities to specialise in a single area – instead, they’re spread too thin and incentivised to look elsewhere.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” asserts Ferreira. “They’ve got potential, are talented, have already made things and you definitely don’t want them to leave. But how can you stop that if we haven’t got enough national crisis that impacts us all. The solution doesn’t sit with individuals and organisations, but rather governments and senior figures. “There needs to be a reckoning about how much the creative arts bring to the economy – that should be given some respect,” stresses Ferreira. “I don’t feel it’s recognised in the way it should be.” work due to a lack of money?” In the UK, the cost of living is a FORWARD THINKING The future need not be so bleak. Thanks to Angela Ferreira and those like her, immense progress has been made in the industry. Productions are employing more diverse casts and crew, better recognising access needs and slowly breaking down barriers to entry. People are landing highly coveted roles – and hopefully progressing to bigger projects. Ferreira believes her professional career was always leading to Douglas Road. “Telling those untold stories, giving people a leg up, encouraging them in their careers… I think I’ve always done it,” she reveals, “but here, I’ve been able to bring it all together.”

equity and inclusion (DEI) ambassador for Banijay UK.

DAILY GRIND “My duty is to come up with ideas, work with a team, meet with commissioners, make the shows, get them on air, gain publicity – and hopefully get the return on them as well,” Ferreira explains. As MD, she’s authorised a range of well-received projects for the BBC and Channel 4, including Lenny Henry’s Caribbean Britain , Una Marson: Our Lost Caribbean Voice , Black Classical Music: The Forgotten History , Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle as well as Judi Love: Black, Female and Invisible , which won a Visionary Arts award and was longlisted for a Grierson award. Ferreira explains the rest of her time is spent “working with the entire breadth of diversity on- and off-screen: suggesting talents, coming up with names, bringing people into and keeping them in the business. It’s advocacy and practical solutions – I do both.” Ferreira’s priority is maintaining authenticity whenever green-lighting a programme; for Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle , she hired eight Caribbean writers and four female directors of colour, who have since worked on more projects. “I’m proud it was a springboard for all that talent,” she enthuses. ISSUES OF ACCESS One of Ferreira’s biggest concerns deals with the representation of her disabled colleagues. “I suppose, like all creative industries, it’s a personality-driven business. Obviously there are talent considerations as well, but people can be excluded for all sorts of reasons,” she argues. “Unless we make sure that everybody’s got a fair chance of entry,



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