Helga Henry in conversation with… Sindy Campbell


Photo by pawel szvmanski on Unsplash

FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS OF previous conversations, I’m delighted to announce the next “In conversation with” event. CLICK HERE TO BOOK!

I created this bi-monthly event in a desire to encourage more of a “salon culture” in Birmingham.  And our first events showed me that it really is possible to create a space for considered conversation and insight.  I’ll be interviewing people from the world of business, culture, policy and government – and we’ll be in conversation about a specific theme or question of importance.  Rather than the soundbites you get in a panel discussion,  we’ll converse:  teasing out a topic in more depth.  The aim is that the conversation will leave all of us in the room challenged, enlightened and energised.

The topic this time is timely in the wake of the recent (disappointing) decision that the Channel 4 headquarters will not locate in Birmingham.  But do we need it?  Is Broadcast, essentially, so last century?   Our question is “How can Birmingham move beyond broadcast to a screen-based media city?” .  Rather than pick over the Channel 4 decision let’s look at Birmingham beyond the broadcaster and even beyond broadcast.

We’re already home to Cherry Wallis – a YouTube star with over 300K subscribers.  Birmingham City Council recently signed a deal with Netflix to significantly increase filming here.   Steven Knight, the Birmingham-born screenwriter, film director and creator of Peaky Blinders, has revealed plans to open a six-stage TV and film studio complex in the city.

And let’s not restrict our conversation to film and television – but to a wider conversation about screen based media.  Animation, games (are they still called video games?), virtual reality (VR) and story-telling on screens are still areas in which the city develop and where our talent could excel.

To help me explore this subject I’m delighted to welcome Sindy Campbell who heads up Film Birmingham – the city’s film and TV office. She’s responsible for strategic planning, developing and supporting the local industry, promoting the city as a destination for film, attracting inward

investment and the daily running of the film office. Under her management, the annual economic impact has risen, reaching a record £12.5 million. She has worked with 1000’s of production including Steve Spielberg ‘Ready Player One’, Kingsman The Golden Circle, The Girl With All The Gifts, Dancing On The Edge, Line of Duty, BBC Doctors – to name a few.  She is fiercely passionate about the growth and sustainability of the industry in Birmingham and West Midlands region.

Sindy can help us explore this question and let us know her perspective on what’s next for media in the city.  Many years ago, photographer Pete Ashton said that we have the same access to broadcast media now as Rupert Murdoch has.  It’s a slight exaggeration but – if we all have (at least in theory) a platform to share our stories  – what is the story that’s worth sharing?

Please join me and Sindy for what I know will be a lively, stimulating and future-focused conversation.

Helga Henry “In conversation with…Sindy Campbell” is on Monday 26th November from 6pm – 8pm at 1000 Trades Bar, Frederick Street, Birmingham,  B1 3HE, in the upstairs room. Admission is free (there’s a pay bar) but spaces are limited so please register as soon as possible by clicking on this link.


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