A new documentary showcases Blackburn and how its’ communities worked together during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is one of several productions which are being filmed by Rizwan Wadan and his team from Pixeleyed Pictures. The film-maker is in the area filming Blackburn United (a working title), which is due out mid next year.

Rizwan is recognised for his contribution in helping to develop camera stabilisation solutions which have been used on productions including Star Wars: Rogue One, Artemis Fowl as well as Oscar and BAFTA winning The Favourite.

In Blackburn, Rizwan wanted to explore the narrative of BBC’s Panorama White Flight documentaries which focused on the segregation of the town and was widely criticised.

He felt these had, in many ways, painted a false narrative of the grassroots efforts and he found people were keen to destroy the myth of the town being divided when they got a chance to voice their opinions.

“Those films only seemed to focus on one part of the community. And to me it wasn’t the whole truth about the town and the area.”

Earlier this year Rizwan revealed how Blackburn would also be featuring in Covid-19: Frontline Documentary which highlights how the pandemic helped to dispel misconceptions as people from different areas of the town supported others through simple acts of generosity.

Rizwan and his team based themselves mainly in and around Lancashire to detail the work done by businesses, charities, small community groups and the local council as the lockdown took hold.

“What we have found is something quite unique”, says Rizwan who grew up in London.

“We want to find out whether the efforts of the community during pandemic would build bridges and would the sacrifice on the frontline help to establish common terms?

“What we want to ask is ‘how has the pandemic united Blackburn’? We are meeting up with people to find out if their perceptions had altered in any way during this period of a national emergency.

“The whole Pixeleyed Team is very grateful for the continuous support we have received from the EG Group, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Lancashire businesses as well as our good friends at Panavision and Pinewood amongst others.”

“Since we are committed to staying independent and being impartial, the support from these companies has been vital in allowing us to continue this important journey”.

“The EG Group’s tremendous efforts during the lockdown and their collaboration with Blackburn with Darwen Council who set up their Food Hub initiative to help feed the vulnerable will go down in history to show the true spirit of this amazing town.”

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This is one of several productions Pixeleyed Pictures have in store that aim to explore how perceptions of people are quite different to reality.

Rizwan said it was important for film-makers like himself to help change perceptions about different communities and raise questions about subject matters which we may or at times find difficult to talk about.

“The vision of Pixeleyed is to create thought proving films which educate through entertainment and bring film to the North West Region”.