Andy Howlett, who is a resident at BOM working on the third film in his Digbeth trilogy (here are parts one and two), is the Birmingham coordinator for Scalarama, a nationwide celebration of cinema. As part of this he prepared a short audio piece as part of Cinema Nation a Resonance FM show.
And here, as a bonus, is a transcript of Andy’s intro. (It really needs to be spoken in his deadpan voice though.)
People say that Birmingham has an inferiority complex. The only time I feel this myself is when Scalarama comes around. “Oh look isn’t there a lot of stuff happening in Nottingham! And Bristol and Brighton and Manchester, what a lot of stuff going on! Let’s see what’s happening in Birmingham… oh.” Despite being the city that invented celluloid we just don’t seem to go for this Scalarama business. But that can change.
My name’s Andy and I’m co-ordinator for Scalarama Birmingham. I was brought in at the last minute to try and muster up some enthusiasm for the season after the guys at head office had failed to generate any interest whatsoever despite numerous group emails to potential exhibitors.
It’s been a struggle, not because Birmingham’s a cultural wasteland with no independent film scene, on the contrary, there are a great many people utilising the power of the moving image in brilliant ways. No, it’s been a struggle because it’s short notice and people are busy. Birmingham’s a city full of people who are all getting on with their own projects without feeling the need to shout about them. And Scalarama is very much a festival of shouting about things: shouting about celluloid, shouting about VHS, shouting about midnight movies, everyone together shouting about how much they love to shout about cinema. And that’s great, but it’s not what we do best here in Birmingham. So here are some people talking mildly about what they’ll be doing in September.