Flood film premiere to showcase community spirit and courage

editorial image

The long awaited community film about the response to the Boxing Day floods gets its first public airing at Hebden Bridge town hall in association with the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.

The film “Waving, not Drowning” was conceived and recorded in the first few days after the flooding and shows the way the community was reacting to the disaster.

“It’s taken quite a while to get here, considering the filming was completed in under a week, but we think it’s been worth the wait,” said Executive Producer, Jason Elliott.

“This isn’t a film about a weather event. It’s the story about how the ordinary people of Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd were able to successfully organise themselves and respond to a major incident with very little intervention from the civil authorities,” he added.

A small team of citizen videographers was dispatched to get the real picture from residents, volunteers and businesses, using everything from mobile phones to professional digital SLRs to capture the results.

All of the respondents were asked the same questions and the resulting film shows a valley united in its determination to work co-operatively and get things done quickly.

Creative Director Shanaz Gulzar said: “One of the constant threads running through the film is the reaction and appreciation of people in the towns to the help that came from other communities, in some cases from great distances too.

“Whether friends, family and neighbours, or people who had driven hundreds of miles to pump out basements, the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us, and this film bears witness to our common humanity.”

The film also features a specially written musical score by Mark Douglas, one of the volunteers who came over from Leeds to help the community in the immediate aftermath.

“For weeks I was cleaning out flood-damaged properties, so I was able to put all of the emotion I had seen during that time into the music and I’m glad it has worked out so well,” he said.

The film is half an hour long and will sbe shown on Sunday November 27 at 6.30pm in the Watefront Hall. There is no entry charge as the event is a part of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.