Rea Studios, the home of Screen and Film School Birmingham, is situated in the heart of Digbeth. As well as playing host to up and coming filmmakers at the Film School, Digbeth is also synonymous the world over as being the home of The Shelby Family, of Peaky Blinders fame.
The creators of the hugely successful and critically acclaimed BBC show announced last week that the sixth and possibly final series of ‘Peaky’ will air sometime in early 2022. The official social media channels for the show confirmed what Director Anthony Byrne had teased earlier in the month on his own Instagram account when he said, ‘We just finished cutting the final episode of Peaky.’ The announcement has sent millions of adoring and dedicated fans into a frenzy in anticipation of Tommy Shelby concluding what has been a long and eventful journey, a journey that by the time it ends will have taken in two world wars and countless dramatic story lines and plot twists. Here in Birmingham in the present day, our fanaticism is no different.
Peaky Blinders has illuminated our brilliant Midlands city for all to see: as well as depicting a semi-fictional, dramatic version of Digbeth and other areas of the Black Country within which the Shelby family run riot, the reception of the show itself has helped to heighten the reputation of Birmingham as a hotbed for TV and film-makers, both established and up and coming. The pinnacle of this regeneration will materialise when the creative brain behind ‘Peaky’ Steven Knight, opens his new 38-acre film and TV studio development, in the heart of Digbeth. Knight believes this will attract Hollywood Producers to set up camp in the city for years to come. Which could prove to be a huge advantage for our students when they take their first steps into industry.
In the five series of the hit show so far, Digbeth has acted as the perfect backdrop to the often sinister, violent and criminal underworld that the characters inhabit and wreak havoc in. Filming techniques, such as the now iconic set design, leave the viewer in no doubt that the darkness which hangs over the entire ensemble seems to be in keeping with the cobbled streets and coal dust which they grew up around.
By contrast, Digbeth in the present day offers a new proposition to residents, visitors and students alike. Not only is it one of the most distinctive parts of a multi-faced, thriving city, but it is only a ten-minute walk from the hustle and bustle of the Bull Ring. It has recently been named the ‘Coolest Neighbourhood in Britain’ by the Sunday Times, and is it any wonder when it is bursting with arts venues, cafes, independent shops and theatres? A heaven for film production and student living!
We have much to celebrate and look forward to here at Screen and Film School Birmingham, on top of the imminent excitment of the return of Peaky Blinders. Our inaugral year is well underway and we’re almost on the countdown to Christmas. We’re already looking towards the next academic year, and we’d love to welcome you to our famous Digbeth campus – By Order of the Peaky Blinders!
Are you interested in being a part of the new legacy at Screen and Film School Birmingham?
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