Britain has changed immeasurably over the last 20 years or so – but looking at the entertainment sector, you might not think that. There is still a shocking lack of representation of Britain’s ethnic minorities across the many fields of entertainment and yet for more than 20 years, some Asians have made a huge impact and continue to make waves.
Whether it’s Sir Ben Kingsley or Gurinder Chadha, they have drawn attention to the fact there is a creative community of artists who work with dedication and professionalism but don’t always receive the respect or dues their achievements command.
For every Sir Ben or Chadha, there are multiple actors, directors, writers and creative artists who strive and persevere but very few make it to the very top and receive global attention. And yet, the British artistic and entertainment community punches far above its weight and it is undoubtedly assisted by a wide and diverse pool.
Such talent can only rise because of generally high standards and an openness to the best, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
For so long as a country, we have been at the vanguard of artistic excellence and achievement, and we can only maintain such a position, if we attract the brightest, the best and the most creative and above all, those who have the dedication and commitment to their craft and their skill.
The Eastern Eye Arts, Culture & Theatre Awards (ACTA), first hosted in 2016 at the Royal Festival Hall in the Southbank Centre is one way of highlighting Asian achievement in field that is often overlooked.
Our actors, directors, writers, musicians, comedians and others in this sector, deserve to be lauded and applauded in the same way as the community’s doctors, lawyers and engineers. We must show the community backs its artists as well.
There is a noble art to telling stories and our culture is deeply rooted in them – we must celebrate a much wider range than is currently available to us.
The ACTAs then seek to make a statement and with your help, it can be louder, more far-reaching and impactful.