We Are Parable. Changing film exhibition.
It started out as an intention to screen their favourite film in their local cinema. Seven years later, this husband and wife team have created a legacy of cinematic events that focus on creating unique experiences for Black audiences.
We Are Parable are an award winning film exhibition company, founded by Anthony and Teanne Andrews in 2013. They say their business started from a shared love of “Coming To America”, the classic Eddie Murphy film.
“We both realised that due to our ages, we’d never seen the film on the big screen,” says co-founder Teanne Andrews. “So, right there and then we had the thought to screen it in a cinema, but in a way that really showed an audience what fans we were of the movie.”
A few weeks later, We Are Parable were dressing rose bearers, managing stage performances from poets and dancers and welcoming over 300 attendees to their immersive screening of a 25 year old, iconic film.
“That event allowed us to start carving out a niche for ourselves,” Anthony Andrews, co-founder adds. “From that moment on, we decided that we would focus on creating experiences for films that had Black people at the centre, and ensure our audiences have an unforgettable night out with us.”
Due to screening Black films and producing moments for audiences that range from street parties, quizzes, poetry and music performances to fashion shows, We Are Parable quickly became known in London for pushing cinema exhibition forward. However in 2017, they would be known as the organisation that brought one of the greatest living directors on stage to talk to the masses.
“Working with Spike Lee really changed everything for us,” recalls Anthony, as he talks about their 9 month retrospective of Lee’s work that would see them produce events in London and Manchester. “After seeing what we were doing online by developing unique events to go alongside his films, he came to London and asked us if we would be up for collaborating.” This culminated in Lee doing a one-off talk at a We Are Parable event, complete with a meet and greet session for 400 fans in Central London. In 2018, they created a special event for the release of Black Panther, working with Marvel and the British Film Institute, producing an Afro-futuristic “kingdom” complete with cosplayers, African arts and craft makers and an exclusive interview with director Ryan Coogler. Over the last two years they have taken the We Are Parable brand around the UK with two nationwide seasons in successive years. “Black Comedy Legends” saw them replicate the famous barbershop from “Desmond’s” complete with professional barbers who offered free haircuts. The “Comedy Cuts” barbershop provided visitors with episodes of the sitcom, and was toured in London, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. In 2019, they produced “The Art of the Black Visual Album”, a three month season designed to celebrate Black musicians who have embraced the visual album in their work. Complete with live musical and poetic performances, Q and As and much more, the season took the duo to Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham, Lewes and London. We Are Parable have always put the experience of the audience first, and as they continue their mission, they intend to do this across the United Kingdom and beyond. Experience over Everything.