Pioneering director Horace Ove named knight in New Year’s honors


Pioneering director Horace Ove said his knight’s title was “a testament to how far we’ve come and in many ways how far we still have to go” after being recognized in New Year’s honors.

The 82-year-old, born in Trinidad, is credited by Guinness World Records as the first black British filmmaker to direct a feature film, with Pressure in 1976.

He becomes a knight for services rendered to the media.

Pioneering director Horace Ove honored (Sal Idris / PA)

His groundbreaking debut describes the life of teenage Londoner Tony, who joined the Black Power movement in the 1970s.

It was shortlisted by the British Film Institute (BFI) before gaining critical acclaim.

In a statement to the PA News Agency, Sir Horace said: “I am very honored to receive this recognition for my work.

“Chronicle the lives, battles, art and culture of the African and Caribbean diaspora in Britain and around the world has been a journey and a lifelong passion.

“This award is a testament to how far we have come and, in many ways, how far we still have to go. One Love.”

Horace Ove has been recognized by the Queen (Annabelle Alcazar / Horace Ove archive / PA)

He began his directorial career in the 1960s after arriving in London from his Caribbean home.

He made shorts The Art Of The Needle in 1966 and Baldwin’s Nigger in 1969.

He is also known for his BBC documentary Reggae in 1970, which explored the musical genre, and A Hole In Babylon from 1979, which tells the story of the siege of Spaghetti House in 1975 – a failed flight to Knightsbridge in London.

He is credited by Guinness World Records as the first black British filmmaker to direct a feature film (Horace Ovè Archives / PA)

In 2018, he received the Special Jury Prize at the British Independent Film Awards.

The judges said: “Ove may not (unfortunately) be a household name, but, as the man the Guinness Book of Records attributes to the first black British filmmaker to direct a feature film, his contribution to cinema in the UK has certainly been significant.

“In a year that Windrush has made headlines, it seems fitting that the jury has chosen to honor one of the proudest voices of the generation.


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