In recent years, Birmingham has made it a goal to expand the opportunities within the film industry in the city. Contributing to this growth was the Storytown conference which took place this January. 

Storytown, a writers' festival where people had the chance to network, expand their industry connections, and talk to others about their ideas, was launched by Transition Stage Company, and was supported by many companies, one being the BBC writers room. It took place across three days at places across the city centre, like Millennium Point and the Birmingham Hippodrome, from the 25th-27th January. 

The event had an energetic and positive atmosphere- on Friday, the second day of the festival, the first hour consisted of people networking, getting to know one another, and taking pictures, and people then got the chance to begin attending informative lectures and talks which were scheduled for the entire day. From the beginning of the conference, there was a welcoming feeling, created collectively by those who attended- any people, ideas and thoughts felt appreciated and valued.

Some students from a college in Birmingham specialising in stage and screen studies attended the event, as a way to get an idea of what professional networking events are like, to meet some new people who may be able to offer the young filmmakers some good opportunities, and to gain relevant knowledge in their desired pathways. One of these students, Matthew Ward, said that he attended so that he could “take on the opportunity of networking with some well established media professionals.” In terms of what the day was like, he said, ‘It was great. Everyone was very nice. It was a good environment to network, give out my details to people. There were some good talks as well.”

Birmingham hopes to make the film industry a more prominent part of its culture and economics in the upcoming years, and conferences similar to Storytown are bound to become more frequent within the city. Events like these provide helpful opportunities for growth not only within Birmingham’s economic state when it comes to the film and TV industry here, but they also provide plenty of opportunities for aspiring filmmakers, writers and other job roles, to expand their knowledge and contacts.