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The film, made by Sheffield-based filmmaker Smart Banda and featuring an original poem by local poet Otis Mensah and Site Gallery’s young people’s group Society of Explorers, is part of the Future of the High Streets film series, organised by Historic England as part of the High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme.

Using the score as a starting point, Smart Banda developed a comprehensive visual concept for Mensah’s work. This informed a series of 35mm black and white images captured by photographer Peter Martin, taken of high streets around Sheffield.

Watch our interview with Peter Martin, Smart Banda and Otis Mensah below. Hosted by Shalikah Walters.

Future of the High Street Short Film Series

The Future of the High Street series of ten new films are being released throughout March. They have been organised by Site Gallery and nine other major regional UK arts organisations, and have been created by local filmmakers and young creatives. Each film explores what the future of the high street could be, posing hopeful questions at a time when these communal spaces have been hit hardest.

The film series is part of the government-funded High Streets Heritage Action Zones Cultural Programme, in which Historic England are working with artists and creative organisations across the country to celebrate our nation’s high streets.

The nine other arts organisations involved includes: Focal Point Gallery (Southend-on-Sea), Beacon Films (Newcastle), Turf Projects (Croydon), Heart of Glass (St Helen’s), Living Memory Archive (Stirchley High Street), New Art Exchange (Nottingham), Lighthouse (Brighton), The Photographers’ Gallery (London), Newlyn Art Gallery (Penzance).

Ellen Harrison, Head of Creative Programmes and Campaigns at Historic England, said:

“The films in our Future of The High Street series are a compelling snapshot of the thoughts, hopes and fears of young people and creatives as they re-examine what our high streets mean to them. We’re so delighted that this important work can be a part of the High Streets Cultural Programme.” 

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