Cherish Oteka’s 2022 Film The Black Cop Nominated For BAFTA

Cherish Oteka’s docu-drama THE BLACK COP tells the story of Gamal Turawa, the UK's first openly Gay Black Metropolitan police
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Photos: British Council Film\Shelly Diafuana

Cherish Oteka’s docu-drama THE BLACK COP tells the story of Gamal Turawa, the UK's first openly Gay Black Metropolitan police officer (who has now retired), admits to racially profiling and harassing Black people in his early career in a quest to find acceptance in the force.The film tells the story of the former police officer and relives his experience of being both a victim and a perpetrator of racism in the British police force.

This insightful short has just been nominated for a 2022 BAFTA in the Best British Short Category.

Cherish Oteka states "It is a huge honour to have this important and nuanced story recognised by BAFTA. My work aims to provide a platform for often-marginalised communities to tell their stories on their terms. I have made documentaries that explore identity, discrimination, and institutional bias, but never through the lens of someone who,sits on all sides of the conversation. In one person and one story we present a villain, victim,and hero and begin to understand the potential that we all have in being any one of these,even all three. It has been heart-warming to see The Black Cop connecting with audiences in this way."

Using archive and dramatic reconstruction to illustrate his story, Gamal takes viewers on a journey through his childhood and professional development as he grapples with issues of racial and sexual identity and acceptance.

Director and producer Cherish Oteka is a Black, queer and trans award -winning documentary filmmaker whose work often spotlights unique perspectives and untold stories. Their films include A MAN CALLED DAD, a film celebrating Black fathers and BAME VOICES, short documentaries giving voice to people who sit at the intersection of Blackness and queerness and most recently, TOO GAY FOR GOD? Oteka, who has been recognised as Edinburgh Television Festival’s Ones to Watch and has won many awards including UKTV’s Rising Star Award, aims to challenge false narratives and provide a platform for often-marginalised communities to tell their stories on their terms.

Producer Emma Cooper is responsible for two notable Netflix documentaries; BIKRAM and THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELINE MCCANN. Having previously held the position of Commissioning Editor in Documentaries at Channel 4, her titles include TATTOOS, THE JIHADI NEXT DOOR and I AM BRADY: ENDGAMES OF A PSYCHOPATH. Prior to Channel 4, Emma directed and produced films for the BBC including LOUIS THEROUX: A PLACE FOR PAEDOPHILES, MIAMI MEGA-JAIL and AMERICA’S MOST HATED FAMILY.

Gamal “G” Turawa is a former police officer from the Metropolitan Police who for 14 of his 25 year decorated career, he delivered training programmes on Diversity, Inclusion and Personal Development. He became the UK's first openly Gay, Black police officer. G retired from the Police force in 2018. The enchanting cinematography was provided by Damien Paul Daniels.

THE BLACK COP is available to watch on The Guardian website.

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