Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What’s twenty grand from their annual budget ? Take it off The Lowry !

Salfordian film maker, Simon Powell of Looking Glass Films, is exactly the sort of creative person who is supposed to benefit from mediacity:uk. A former popcorn seller at the Red Cinema, he was inspired through the Salford Film Festival to follow his dreams. Unfortunately he’s being denied the opportunity to showcase his latest film at this year’s Festival because it’s cancelled. And he ain’t happy…

The council can go on this bandwagon about media city but when it comes to the grass roots level of people looking to get into or be a part of something that’s creative, such as film, it’s not embraced at all – you think `Well, what’s more important ?’ They should be opening their arms across the spectrum of the industry not just `Let’s get this media city’.

Obviously it’s important and a big thing for Salford but let’s be working with individuals and companies who are working within the industry here and now to show the council’s commitment and feed people’s confidence.

It’s a big, big shame that they can’t support the Salford Film Festival, especially given that it fits the council’s cultural strategy about learning and creativity, and that it fits under the umbrella of regenerating the city, empowering people, developing skills, creating opportunities, be that education, training or work. It’s a great shame that they don’t have the vision to see it...

As a PR opportunity as well the Festival raises the profile of the city. They don’t support it but when it’s really successful they are the first ones to come knocking on the door saying `Can we come and have a chat ?’ They just need to pull their fingers out basically and put £20k into the film festival – what’s twenty grand out of their annual budget ? Jesus Christ – can’t they take it from the Lowry or somewhere ?

The Salford Film Festival should be an annual event, that’s on the calendar and supported properly. My frustration is that the council do see the bigger picture but in order to get to this bigger picture with the Media City thing they are just ignoring and not embracing all the hard work that’s going on now within the community to help raise the profile of this city and give opportunities and work placements to local people.

I’m very passionate about this as we work hard to engage with the community and the Salford Film Festival is something we use as a unique selling point to attract young people from across the city. I’m totally disappointed for them too…


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