Renowned filmmaker creates new work looking at the Future of the High Street in Southend-on-Sea


A new short film, S (for Southend), by filmmaker Aaron Shrimpton in collaboration with Focal Point Gallery is released this week on 19 March. It is one of ten new films commissioned by Historic England to explore the Future of the High Street.

Future of the High Street is one of the first projects in a £7.4 million Cultural Programme led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This programme of cultural activities is part of the £95 million High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme, which is currently working to breathe new life into 68 English high streets.

S (for Southend) brings together voices, memories and the inventive ideas of a local community, to catalogue the public consciousness around how we can learn to adapt and build a better future in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Collaging together imagery of architecture, tracking shots and a series of creative responses from participants, S (for Southend) is a collective vision for reimagining the future of Southend High Street.

Filmmaker Aaron Shripmton said: “S (for Southend) is a short community lead guide through Southend high street, where past and future thoughts collide into the present tense. I recorded the voices of 36 people walking the length of the high street and allowed that to inform my concept. While fragments of the conversations were used for the film, the interviews will be available as a soundlink – a time capsule of thoughts for those in a hundred years. The overall narrative is one of hope.”

Aaron Shrimpton is a filmmaker from Basildon with a background in Fine Art Photography having graduated from Edinburgh Napier with a 1st Class Honors & Hamilton Tait Creative Award. His professional career began with a New Talent BAFTA for a Scroobius Pip featured music video. Since then he has created the company New Waverley Studios that has produced projects for Ai Wei Wei, Anne-Marie, The Guardian, Fatboy Slim, Chanel, Stik and most recently documenting the London Borough of Culture’s Brent Biennale.

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