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Benita Bailey (BA Screen Acting tutor) brings #YELLIT to MetFilm School

By Elise Czyzowska

10 March 2023

Benita Bailey, BA Screen Acting tutor at MetFilm School Berlin, and interdisciplinary artist, is bringing a new opportunity to MetFilm School students in the form of her show Yell It From The Mountain.

Created in 2020, #YELLIT features Black artists from the performing arts industry in conversation with Benita, and in its sixteen episodes (to date), guests have included Denise M’Baye, Marcia Johnson, and MetFilm School’s own Documentary & Factual tutor, Jide Tom Akinleminu.

The fourth season of the show, which is kindly sponsored by ‘Power of the Arts’ by Philip Morris, will be co-produced by MetFilm School, and students from all three campuses have the opportunity to get involved across the show’s production. In today’s blog, we’re sharing more about the project, as well as Benita Bailey’s inspiration behind the show…

Benita Bailey’s #YELLIT From The Mountain

Students at our Leeds campus were lucky enough to hear from Benita in-person at a recent MetFilm School Masterclass, during which she outlined her own career in the screen industries, and in particular, how #YELLIT came to be – which began while at home during the 2020 Covid lockdowns.

After her upcoming projects were cancelled due to the pandemic, Benita explained how, with two young children at home, her time was quickly filled with the likes of cleaning, cooking, and private teaching.

I needed my creative outlet back, and when I was thinking about what I could do, what I had available to me, I realised that I have a huge network of artists that I’ve worked with in the past.

Benita BaileyBA Screen Acting tutor

At the same time as she was beginning to think about what shape a new project might take, the murder of George Floyd inspired global protests and discussions about both racism and structural racism, including the lack of diversity and accessibility within the film and screen industries.

Benita recalled the constant calls from German journalists at this time, all wanting to quote her on ‘diversity in the industry’. ‘I didn’t want to talk about racism every single day,’ she explained, ‘I just wanted to act’. From these frustrations came her initial concept for #YELLIT: interviewing people out of their homes, to talk about their arts.

Benita Bailey with BA tutor Lucy Francis during a recent Masterclass at MetFilm School Leeds

#YELLIT with MetFilm School

In co-production with MetFilm School, the fourth season of Benita Bailey’s #YELLIT will see MetFilm School students integrated into every step of the production. Across six episodes, which will be filmed at our Berlin campus, the show will interview a number of influential female filmmakers from different and diverse craft areas – all of which can be studied at MetFilm School.

While the newest season is currently in pre-production, the guest list includes…

Not only is the show a great opportunity for MetFilm School students to collaborate and network, it also gives them the opportunity to truly get to know their role models.

Before being published on the official #YELLIT channel, an extended version of each episode will be available exclusively on the MetFilm Futures Speaker Library for our students, with the ambition of helping the next generation of filmmakers take their crafts to the next level, and to explore their artistic selves.

Watch Benita Bailey’s episode of #YELLIT with Documentary & Factual tutor Jide Tom Akinleminu

3 Questions with Benita Bailey

Ahead of filming the fourth season of #YELLIT, we spoke to Benita about the project…

What has the pre-production process been like so far?

We mainly work online in teams, where we’re covering the basics: planning our recordings, creating trailers, and of course the research itself, which includes, for example, watching all the films of our guests, to make sure I don’t miss anything.

What’s been quite interesting in the planning of the new season is that we’re working globally, covering Germany, Canada, and the UK!

For newcomers to #YELLIT, which episode would you recommend to start?

I think the most interesting episode for the MetFilm School community will be the first episode of the third season. I interviewed Jide Tom Akinleminu, who is an award-winning filmmaker, and who is also teaching documentary filmmaking at MetFilm School Berlin!

With students from all campuses involved in the project, can you share any tips for collaboration?

One of the most important things in this industry is to build a network of people that you like, and who you want to work with. If you are currently at film school, that network is most likely around you.

#YELLIT is yet another opportunity for MetFilm School students to activate that network, to get to know interesting people in key positions of the industry, and to learn from them.

Hero Image Photo Credit: Phanie Ètier