Black excellence

Founders of UK events company announce ‘ambitious’ year-long film festival to celebrate life and work of legendary director Spike Lee


FILM FESTIVAL: Teanne and Anthony, founders of We Are Parable

FILM FESTIVAL: Teanne and Anthony, founders of We Are Parable

SPIKE LEE is a living legend.

The American film director, producer, writer and actor has produced 35 films since he founded production company, 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, in 1983.

His iconic films examine a number of contemporary issues from race relations to politics and have earned him two Academy Award nominations and an Academy Honorary Award.

The latter was presented to the legendary filmmaker in 2015 by colleagues and Hollywood heavyweights Denzel Washington, Samuel L Jackson and Wesley Snipes.

To show his work is held in equal esteem on this side of the pond, and to coincide with his 60th birthday on March 20, husband and wife team Anthony and Teanne Andrews, founders of events company We Are Parable, have created a year-long film festival in his honour.

LEGENDS: Spike Lee (right) pictured with Hollywood star Denzel Washington, star of Mo' Better Blues, in 1990

LEGENDS: Spike Lee (right) pictured with Hollywood star Denzel Washington, star of Mo’ Better Blues, in 1990

Spike Is 60 will showcase some of the legend’s greatest work at a number of venues around the UK.

The festival kicks off with the classic, Mo Better Blues at the Rio Cinema in London on March 19, a day before Spike’s birthday.

“A saxophonist will play music throughout the film to add atmosphere in such a great space,” We Are Parable’s Teanne said of the inaugural screening.

We Are Parable co-founder Anthony said the pair decided to produce a whole season of Spike films after co-hosting a screening of 1989’s Do The Right Thing in 2014.

“We saw the love that people still had for the film, and we felt that it had been too long since anyone did a retrospective of Spike’s work,” Anthony told The Young Empire.

However, the talented pair wanted to do something a little special to mark his special year and inspirational career.

The festival, which is supported by Film London and North West Hub, will move between London and Manchester with 10 more special events throughout 2017.

The Spike Is 60 festival will close in Central London later this year.

IN ACTION: Denzel Washington in Mo' Better Blues

IN ACTION: Denzel Washington in Mo’ Better Blues

Founded in 2013, We Are Parable have created a number of unforgettable screening events since its launch.

They range from the 25th anniversary screening of Eddie Murphy’s Coming To America to the successful showing of cult classic, Love & Basketball.

The latter, which drew in a crowd of 750, gave attendees the full experience with a replica-sized basketball court, cheerleaders and street food.

However, they said Spike Is 60 is their “most ambitious” project to date.

“We are both massive Spike Lee fans and this is the result of many months of planning,” Anthony said, “We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

The Young Empire is a marketing partner of We Are Parable’s Spike Is 60 film festival. 

To buy tickets for Mo Better Blues, visit or




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