Windrush Caribbean Film Festival 2024 Announces Winners of Coveted Awards

Ms Dawn Hill Photos

Veteran activist Dawn Hill CBE, receives the Paulette Wilson Justice Award and award winning journalist, Nadine White, is given the Menelik Shabazz Award for up-and-coming Black British filmmakers.

The honours were presented at the Fifth Windrush Caribbean Film Festival’s (WCFF) Closing Ceremony at The Ritzy in Brixton on 30 June 2024.

Community stalwart, Dawn Hill CBE received the Paulette Wilson Justice Award.  Dawn is honoured for her sterling work within the community which spans over four decades. Arguably, one of her major achievements is her staunch leadership in setting up free legal clinics to secure justice for those victimised by the Windrush scandal when she was Chair of Black Cultural Archives.  

Following the death of Windrush campaigner Paulette Wilson the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival created the Paulet Wilson Justice Award in honour of Paulette’s tireless fight against deportation to Jamaica and helping to bring the Windrush scandal to national attention in 2016 following her own personal battle. 

Ansel Wong, Director of WCFF, said “Dawn is Pioneer, Matriarch and Activist all rolled into one. She transcended all barriers with her indomitable spirit and determination to make change. Quietly but robust in her intervention, charming in her championing of her community and assured engaging with power brokers at every level of society. Dawn has stood her ground no matter who she comes in contact with. She is an icon of our Caribbean Diaspora. There can be no worthier recipient for this year’s Paulette Wilson Justice Award!

Multiple award winning journalist Nadine White, the Independent newspaper’s Race Correspondent, who became a first-time filmmaker in 2023 with her lauded documentary Barrel Children: The Families Windrush Left Behind, her moving examination of Caribbean children left behind by their parents who left them to help rebuild Britain after WWII. Nadine receives WCFF’s Menelik Shabazz Award given to an up-and-coming British filmmaker of Caribbean heritage.  This award is sponsored by WCFF media partner www.alt-africa.com, the luxury bespoke Arts & Culture print and online going out guide celebrating diversity and inclusion in the creative industries.

Joy Coker, Publisher and Founding Editor of Alt-africa, says “Menelik’s work was about representation and speaking truth to power. He brought important stories to our attention that might have been buried if he followed the status quo. Like Menelik, Nadine’s moving film was powerful storytelling that gives voice to the less represented.”

Photos courtesy of RichBarrPhoto.

Nadine was also the inaugural recipient of the Paulette Wilson Justice Award in 2020. She shared the award with the Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman for their resolute reporting of the Windrush scandal.

In addition to these two special awards, WCFF is pleased to recognise films from the 30+ films screened at the 2024 Festival. The official WCFF jury voted for Returned from Janet Marrett as the Best Short Film. The Best Feature Film Award was awarded to That Great British Documentary by Joan Hillary and  Best Film was given to Fearless from director Noella Mingo.

This year’s Festival theme was Transitions & Travels: The Journey Continues with screening in Wales, Birmingham and London as well as online viewing of all films with a Festival Pass.

WCFF marked Windrush Day with an all day screening of films at The Ritzy with a 50% discount for over 60s and a very special outdoor screening for the Friends of Windrush Square’s Big Caribbean Lunch on 23 June.

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Best Film Award

Fearless by Noella Mingo

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/836470534

About: Fearless is a heartwarming documentary that features six women aged between 78 and 90. As young women they left their homes in the Caribbean, Ireland and South Asia to answer post WWII Britain’s call for workers. The film uses archive film and photography to interweave pivotal moments in women’s social history with the interviewees’ memories of life in Britain. These are the moments and movements that impacted women then and now. They include the Notting Hill uprising and the fight for racial equality in housing and jobs. The immigrant workers’ rights fought for by the Grunwick factory strikers and the lengths mothers went to in order to ensure their children received a proper education.

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Best Short Film Award

Returned by Janet Marrett

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/826864042?share=copy  | Password: R3TurnedT

About: NHS clinical psychologist Zoe expertly disguises her own inner trauma, until unexpectedly during a counselling session as she listens, her patient confesses feelings of helplessness for failing his son, something inside her is triggered. Leaving work immediately she decides to make a quick stop at a supermarket on her way home where a simple shop leads her to an experience that forces her to face her past pain.

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Best Feature Award

That Great British Documentary by Joan Hillery

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/819868990

About: Shot over ten years and prompted by the death of her father, filmmaker Joan explores Britain’s colonial past and the legacy her dual black and white heritage has had on her life.

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