I braved the snow and rush hour traffic last night to go to the launch of the Birmingham Film Office at St Martin's Church. For those of you who don't know Birmingham, a church may seem like an unusual venue for a PR launch, especially one not associated with religion, but hats off to the organisers, it worked very well.

It might be a long way from Hollywood but Birmingham has got a history and, through the new Film Office a future, in the film business.
Office Director Suzie Ralph's objectives are to 'facilitate production, promote the city as a prime location and support film festivals.' With a strong BBC presence, Screen West Midlands and companies like Maverick television firmly established in the city, there is a real buzz around Birmingham's creative industries.

With cities like Manchester trading off the back of their music scene and a burgeoning visual arts scene in Newcastle, perhaps Birmingham has finally found a niche that can help it shake off the outmoded view of the city as a sprawling 70's concrete jungle.

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