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Thursday 29 February 2024

Unveiling "Defiance": Channel 4's Groundbreaking Documentary Series

In a groundbreaking collaboration, BAFTA-winning Rogan Productions, Riz Ahmed's Left Handed Films, and GroupM Motion Entertainment are teaming up to deliver a landmark historical documentary series, "Defiance," for Channel 4. This three-part series aims to delve into a tumultuous period in British history, shedding light on the targeted violence and resistance faced by Britain's Asian community from 1976 to 1981.

"Defiance" promises to be a compelling exploration of how the Asian community in Britain confronted a campaign of violence and murder orchestrated by the National Front during a time when racial tensions were at their peak. The series will examine pivotal events such as the Southall riots, the tragic death of Blair Peach, the Battle for Brick Lane, and the remarkable saga of the Bradford 12. These events, often overlooked by the mainstream media and authorities at the time, will be brought to life through a combination of archival footage and poignant testimonies from individuals who were on the front lines during those turbulent years.

At the helm of this ambitious project are Series Director Satiyesh Manoharajah, Series Producer Anoop Pandhal, and Director/Producer Rajesh Thind. The executive production team boasts names like James Rogan, Nancy Bornat, and Soleta Rogan from Rogan Productions, Riz Ahmed and Allie Moore from Left Handed Films, and Deep Sehgal from GroupM Motion Entertainment.

Shaminder Nahal, Channel 4's Head of Specialist Factual, expressed her excitement about commissioning this groundbreaking series, emphasizing its timeliness and relevance in today's socio-political landscape. Against the backdrop of having a British Asian Prime Minister and an Asian First Minister in Scotland, Nahal sees "Defiance" as a powerful platform to amplify the voices and experiences of British Asians who have long fought for recognition and justice.

James Rogan, Executive Producer for Rogan Productions, underscored the importance of telling the untold stories of Asian refugees and migrants who faced relentless racial violence but refused to back down. He sees "Defiance" as a landmark documentary that will shine a light on these extraordinary experiences and inspire audiences to reconsider their perceptions of British history.

Riz Ahmed and Allie Moore of Left Handed Films echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the significance of revisiting the British Asian civil rights movement, which has largely been overlooked in mainstream narratives. They believe that the stories of bravery and resistance showcased in "Defiance" are as relevant today as they were decades ago, serving as a reminder of the ongoing struggle against prejudice and injustice.

Deep Sehgal, Executive Producer for GroupM Motion Entertainment, praised the integrity and importance of "Defiance," highlighting it as a prime example of the caliber of storytelling that can be achieved through collaborative efforts like the Diverse Indies Fund.

As "Defiance" prepares to captivate audiences with its gripping narratives and powerful imagery, it stands poised to not only educate but also inspire reflection and dialogue about the enduring legacy of resistance in the face of adversity. This series is not just a historical account; it is a testament to the resilience and determination of a community that refused to be silenced.

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