Another challenging year for the film sector, with several productions postponed or delayed, the highlight of our year was the release of Amber and Me and the development of our own streaming platform Amber Films at Home (TVoD, soon to be SVoD). Amber and Me gained very positive reviews (thanks Mark Kermode!) and the PR campaign was great fun with appearances on Good Morning Britain, Jeremy Vine Show, Today programme on Radio 4, several news bulletins and some lovely coverage in newspapers and magazines. We've had such a fantastic response from people who have been affected by some of the issues discussed in the film that we are already in production on the follow-up film (Amber and Me - the Next Years) and have decided that inclusion and social justice will be the bedrock of all Initialize developed projects in the future. Discrimination is, of course, still rife in society and we need to keep chipping away at the structures and personalities that allow it to foster.
Although production was difficult to organise due to Covid, we did manage to keep cameras turning on a few projects, mostly documentaries. We're very much enjoying working with our friends at Kino Company in Finland on the ASMR documentary The Kind Stranger, which will be delivered later this year. Also in production is the hybrid crime drama Winner, which mixes documentary footage with fiction, as a father tries to protect a son from county lines gangs. Filmed with a doc style crew, Winner will be delivered in 2023. And as mentioned above, we've been filming on Amber and Me - the Next Years, which has been (again) a fantastic experience. We've also helped as consultants on a number of feature projects which are due to be released in 2022.
We have some great projects in development which were given extra focus on 2021 due to the production lull. The Unnatural Death of Belly Mujinga is a key project to turn into production for 2022. Belly died from Covid after being (allegedly) coughed on and spat at by a man at Victoria Station and her death formed part of the UK Black Lives Matter protests. An Inquest has been announced to investigate her death and as with many similar cases, the case goes much deeper than is currently apparent. Also a key project for 2022 production is the comedy-drama series Chloe, about a secondary school student with Down's syndrome and her battle to retain her natural happiness in the face of people who want to punish her for being different. We also look forward to working more on our Untitled legal drama series about a group of anti-discrimination lawyers as they take on large corporates. We have a number of other documentaries and series in development so it will be a busy year ahead.
Here's to a great 2022 and look forward to seeing you at a film festival / TV market soon.