60% of film fans say that misrepresentation of minority groups has ruined a movie for them, study finds

Misrepresentation of minority groups has ruined a movie for six in 10 film fans.

Hugh Grant as an Oompa Loompa in ‘Wonka’ and Johnny Depp as a Native American in ‘The Lone Ranger’ both deemed inappropriate castings according to 19 per cent.

The poll of 2,000 adults who watch films found 39 per cent believe it’s unacceptable that minority characters are often played by actors in majority groups – for example, a disabled character being played by an able-bodied actor.

For this reason, 54 per cent think there should be more effort made for diverse actors to play diverse roles.

But 44 per cent think this would improve if there were younger film directors, according the study by M&Ms’s. 

Although 34 per cent don’t believe there is enough funding for young filmmakers to realise their dreams in the UK.

Christine Ubochi is named the winner of the M&M'S Short Film Festival 2024 for her film Funke, Fatima and Madame BunmiChristine Ubochi is named the winner of the M&M'S Short Film Festival 2024 for her film Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi
Christine Ubochi is named the winner of the M&M'S Short Film Festival 2024 for her film Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi | Joe Pepler/PinPep

Challenges and rejections

It comes as Funke, Fatima and Madame Bunmi, directed by Christine Ubochi, has been named the winner of the M&M’s Short Film Festival 2024 following its premiere in London's Leicester Square last night.

The festival helps the next generation of diverse filmmakers create their own short film by accessing funding and expert mentorship. 

The winning director, whose film follows two friends who enlist a witch doctor to achieve their dream bodies before their 18th birthday party, said: “I remember speaking to a career advisor at university about pursuing a career in the arts. 

“She sat me down very earnestly and told me to consider something else, because it’s incredibly hard to get into the industry. 

“She was right – I know it's an industry that’s hard to break into, and a challenge I’ve faced is getting back up after the rejections and carrying on.

“I'm taking the journey day by day, and would love to encourage other aspiring film-makers to keep on going. 

“There are opportunities out there, like the M&M’s Short Film Festival, and we all deserve for our voices to be heard in film.

“It’s been an incredible journey and winning the funding to make my short film is unreal. 

“I made a promise to commit myself to writing and telling stories this year, especially those which amplify the underrepresented groups in society.”

The M&M's Short Film Festival is set to help the next generation of diverse filmmakers create their own short film by accessing funding and expert mentorship.The M&M's Short Film Festival is set to help the next generation of diverse filmmakers create their own short film by accessing funding and expert mentorship.
The M&M's Short Film Festival is set to help the next generation of diverse filmmakers create their own short film by accessing funding and expert mentorship. | Joe Pepler/PinPep

Empower new talent

The premiere of the film was attended by Kiss Breakfast presenter and Diversity dancer, Jordan Banjo.

He said: “Whether it's on the big or small screen, everyone deserves to feel part of the story they're watching. 

“It’s always been important to me that film and television speaks to people from all walks of life, and represents them for who they are, rather than stereotypes that can be perpetuated.

“M&M'S Short Film Festival has empowered new talent to create some truly authentic films, and I'm proud to support the initiative.”

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