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07/02/2006

FILM Birmingham calls action on city’s film and television production

Birmingham will cement its reputation as a pioneering centre for international film and television production this month with the official launch of FILM Birmingham, the city’s film office.
FILM Birmingham will strengthen the city’s reputation as a recognised centre for film and television production, support a wide range of festivals and events and foster a successful environment for Birmingham’s filmmakers and production companies to develop.
Councillor Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “FILM Birmingham will provide the city with an exciting new platform to showcase the landmarks, architecture and vibrant diversity of Birmingham to a nation and international audience.
“We are committed to promoting our film-friendly reputation and will be encouraging even more production within the city by ensuring that filming in Birmingham is as easy as possible. FILM Birmingham will help take the success story that is Birmingham all the way to the silver screen!”
Speaking about the launch, Suzie Ralph, Director of FILM Birmingham and former BBC producer and presenter, said: “I am passionate about promoting Birmingham as a prime location for national and international TV and film production, while at the same time highlighting the wealth of creative talent based in the city and the region. Momentum is really building for our film and TV industry, with a schedule of film festivals, debates and high profile premieres planned for 2006.”
Birmingham’s reputation as a film-friendly city will be bolstered this year with the release of four feature films supported and funded by the regional screen agency Screen West Midlands including The Road to Guantanamo, directed by Michael Winterbottom, and Yousef Ali Khan’s Almost Adult, both shot on location in Birmingham.
BAFTA award winning, Birmingham-based film and production company, Dreamfinder, has also been instrumental in furthering the productivity of the city’s screen industry by playing a major role in establishing the West Midland’s Producers Forum.
This year’s BAFTAs feature Birmingham based talent in the form of film producer Roger Shannon. Shannon was executive producer for the comedy Festival which has been nominated for best British film and best new director. The film has already won two Scottish BAFTAs, Best Script Award at Dinard and Best Comedy Film Prize at the ITV Comedy Awards.
Birmingham is home to a strong network of media and production companies including Maverick Television (awarded a Creative Cities Award by Channel 4 in 2005), Hotbed Media and Endboard Production. BBC Birmingham’s multi-million pound move into the city centre in 2005 cemented the broadcaster’s commitment to production within the region.
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