A leading recycling manager is trying to help raise up to £400,000 towards the cost of a feature-length documentary about the life of Britain’s first black film actor, Earl Cameron CBE.
Now 93 and based in Kenilworth, Bermuda-born Earl first appeared on screen 60 years ago in Basil Dearden’s Pool of London made in 1950.
Not only is he the first British black actor to star in a British movie but he is still working, most recently appearing in Leonardo DiCaprio’s Inception.
Ken Meeson was chairman of the Warwickshire Police Independent Group when he first met Earl at a Warwickshire Police Black History weekend.
“I was amazed to hear the story of his life and to see how young black people looked up to him with such reverence,” said Mr Meeson, a Balsall Common-based senior manager with the country’s third largest scrap metal recycling business, Metal and Waste Recycling Ltd.
“Getting to know Earl and his work in depth has been enlightening and captivating.
“Earl is the personification of graciousness and a film about his life and work should be made as soon as possible while he is still young enough and active enough to participate himself.
“My only reason for helping Earl is just that, I want to help him.
“I feel his story is not only interesting but will be seen by many, old, young, black or white as what you can do with your life if you persevere and continue to give it your best.
“I hope that young people across the world will be able to learn about Earl’s work through the film.”
Writer James Vollmar and producer director Marcus Thompson are already attached to the project which now includes a rough-cut DVD sample of clips detailing Earl’s career.
Mr Meeson said a full-length feature film documentary, revisiting Earl’s film locations and the people he has worked with in Africa, Europe, Barbados, Bermuda and the United States, would cost an estimated £400,000.
A documentary using clips from films, and with a suitable narrator like Earl’s friend Sidney Poitier linking interviews filmed for TV, would cost up to £50,000.
Earl has also agreed to play an eminent criminologist in a short film written by Mr Meeson, who hopes to involve any local talent who would like to help make it.
Anyone wishing to help fund the documentary or join the short film project should telephone Mr Meeson on 01676 535393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.