#BlackBoyJoyGone | Ashley Karrell & Isaac Ouro-Gnao - COLOUR Festival

At the Riley Theatre, COLOUR Festival

#blackboyjoygone | ashley karrell & isaac ouro-gnao
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Saturday 12th November 2022

Film screening and discussion

Part of COLOUR Festival 2022

#BlackBoyJoyGone (#BBJG) is a hybrid documentary film exploring mental health, trauma and finding strength through brotherhood.

Funded by BFI Doc Society and directed by Ashley Karrell & Isaac Ouro-Gnao the film blends interviews, poetry, dance and storytelling, capturing the lived realities, and the hopeful perspectives of black men in the North, the Midlands and London.

Working collaboratively with mental health organisations and individuals in the UK, including the charity Mind, The Survivors Trust and Black mental health professionals, the project has reached far and wide to amplify the voices of Black men who are often marginalised and underrepresented in accessing support and wellbeing services.

we’re never ‘too far gone’ if we seek the right help.

Duration: 25 minute film followed by discussion (1 hour total)



About the artists

Ashley Karrell is an award-winning director, photographer, film and theatre-maker with a career spanning 20 years. He has produced a broad spectrum of work that includes visual art, commercial and experimental video productions and mass participation pieces across and beyond the UK. Ashley graduated from the Northern Film School in 2005 and is now the director of production companies Panoptical and Expression Of You CIC, where he delivers large and small-scale productions at public exhibitions, events and festivals exploring ideas of community. His documentary film of Geraldine Connor’s epic masterpiece Carnival Messiah, debuted at the Leeds International Film Festival in 2017 and premiered at the West Indes Film Festival in Trinidad in September 2018, where it won the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary.

Isaac Ouro-Gnao is a Togolese-British multidisciplinary artist and freelance journalist. He creates empathetic and thought-provoking work rooted in traditional African realism, magical realism, and Africanfuturism. His impact in the dance world has been multifaceted; working as a performer, voice artist, scriptwriter, and marketer for esteemed dance theatre artists and companies. Credits include award-winning Family Honour (2018) by Spoken Movement; Olivier award-winning BLKDOG (2018) by Far From The Norm; sold-out solo The Oreo Complex (2018); nationally acclaimed Father Figurine (2019) by Body Politic; and Foreign Bodies (2019) by Ella Mesma Company. Isaac’s movement is rooted in West African Contemporary, Hip Hop, Popping, and House through the inspiration and tutelage of Vicki Igbokwe, Kwame Asafo-Adjei, Alessandra Seutin, and Thomas Presto. His work has also been influenced by Seeta Patel and Tomislav English. His writing has appeared in the form of features, reviews, and poetry in publications such as Lolwe, The Stage, A Younger Theatre, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, and more. Isaac is a member of Body Politic’s board of directors and is a mental health advocate through Mind charity’s Young Black Men steering group.