The discussion takes place Oct. 6, the day after the festival opens with the European premiere of Amma Asante’s “A United Kingdom,” in which Oyelowo stars as an African king-in-waiting who falls in love with a white Englishwoman. Oyelowo also stars in Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe,” another European premiere at the festival.
“[Oyelowo] is a passionate and articulate advocate for changing the framework of opportunities for black talent and for reversing the historical lack of recognition for their achievements,” the festival said in a statement.
Oyelowo said: “I’m really hopeful we’re about to segue from talking about diversity to actually doing it.”
Asante is another one of the speakers at the event, alongside actor, producer and director Noel Clarke, whose latest film, “Brotherhood,” is playing in theaters in the U.K. Other speakers include filmmaker and author Julie Dash; writer and director Barry Jenkins; Karen Blackett, chairwoman of media agency MediaCom U.K.; Ramy El-Bergamy, on-screen diversity executive at Channel 4; Ben Roberts, the head of the BFI Film Fund; and Heather Stewart, creative director of the BFI.
Clare Stewart, head of the London Film Festival, said the intention was to ask “searching questions.” “Questions about opportunity and aspiration, about the power to decide. Questions that have become increasingly urgent over the course of this year, intensified by the Black Lives Matter movement, and by world events, including those closer to home,” she said.