From the Northwest to the Southeast and everything in between, Screen and Film School’s reach is vast. Our largest college in Brighton is some 270 miles and a five-hour drive away from our Manchester campus, and halfway along the route is Screen and Film School Birmingham – our most recently opened college.
What a summer it has been across all three of our brilliant home cities, from the monumental Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to the return of Brighton Pride, there has been much to celebrate and there is still a lot to look forward to before the summer is over and the school year begins. We’re going to put the focus on each city in this mini-series, and we’re starting in the Midlands.
There is only one place to start this summer when it comes to Birmingham and that is the triumphant spectacle that was the Commonwealth Games. The Games took place all around the Midlands, as far out as Coventry in the south and Cannock Chase Forest in the north. The majority of the action took place right on our doorstep in Digbeth: athletics, gymnastics, racket sports, cricket and much more, all entertained the crowds in venues in the heart of the city. The sporting bonanza saw more than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories compete for 280 medal events over a packed 11 days.
The impressive figures keep coming, whether it was the 1.5 million tickets sold – more than at any other Commonwealth Games in the UK – or the fact viewers streamed the action a record 57 million times, or the crowds that packed Centenary Square on a daily basis, it is clear that there was serious appetite for Birmingham this summer. The glorious weather helped, of course. As did the city, its people and the volunteers, surpassing expectations and raising spirits with a friendliness and warmth that left an impression on anyone who spent time there.
Screen and Film School Birmingham Applicant Experience Manager Lucy Carey, who lives in the area, had this to say about the summer of success in her home city:
‘Birmingham is quickly becoming the place to be, and the Commonwealth Games being hosted here is just another example of Birmingham’s rapid growth. Community has always been a huge selling point for Birmingham and the Games just heightened the sense of that in the city. The event took over Birmingham with pop-up sports bars, live music, and outdoor screens to watch each sport. Plus, the opening ceremony by Steven Knight, the creator of Peaky Blinders, made us all proud to be Brummies.’
Moving back to the world of film and television, and a major new drama, Champion, from Candice Carty-Williams, has begun filming in Birmingham for BBC One. Set in south London, the original drama explores what happens when fame collides with family. It focusses on Bosco Champion, once a UK rap sensation, as he arrives home from prison and plans to dominate the music industry once more.
Candice Carty-Willliams had this to say about the drama:
‘Champion is a celebration of black music and a black family, however fragmented that family might be. Since I knew what music was, I’ve loved grime and UK rap and neo-soul, to the point of obsession, and to bring to a primetime slot a series that gives these genres of music life and texture is absolutely amazing, as is getting to work with some of the best producers making music today to create original tracks for the show. I can’t think of anywhere else Champion could sit but the BBC and I’m looking forward to everyone seeing a show that they have never seen before.’
It has been a summer to remember for Birmingham, and it isn’t over yet. There are still a few weeks left before teaching begins in Digbeth at the Film School. We hope all of our students are making the most of the last of the long heatwave in the Midlands.