J’can filmmaker’s Dreaming Whilst Black for BBC Three run
Driving the representation of Caribbean voices on screen, Adjani Salmon is telling Jamaican stories through a new lens.
Salmon, a native of Montego Bay, St James, migrated to the United Kingdom in 2013 with hopes of launching a successful career in film. Met by more challenges than he expected, he switched to the silver screen.
"I came up with Dreaming Whilst Black, to be honest out a frustration of not getting into film," he said. "I really wanted to make films and I was writing scripts, pitching films, all of that stuff and I wasn't really getting anywhere. In that time of me writing films, I saw more than two people who are like my counterparts break through in television. So I was just like mi just wah make a TV show, since a desso the work deh a desso mi a guh go."
Inspired by the shows developed by other minority groups in predominantly white countries, Salmon decided to shine a light on the Jamaican stories that would otherwise be considered mundane.
" Dreaming Whilst Black specifically was in watching Insecur e and Master of None," Salmon said.
He said that Insecure was one of the first TV shows that he saw, and it was about everyday life. Master of None was about an Indian actor in New York, USA, and it served as a great motivation for Salmon.
"I just thought, 'Oh that's simple'. I'm a black director in London so I'll just write about a black director in London and that was it. Obviously it's based on the foundation of my life, but really, I would say is a compilation of all my friend's stories put together in one person."
The series, which will be aired on BBC Three in April, follows the life of Jamaican filmmaker Kwabena, played by Salmon himself.
" Dreaming Whilst Black is a comedy drama about a young black British-Jamaican filmmaker trying to become successful in the UK film industry. The reason why I think people should watch it is because it is clever, it is funny, it makes social commentary about England, to do with race politics, gender politics -- all of that stuff -- and people should just watch it because it's a Jamaican thing, dawg."