Recording for Forest documentary complete

Posted on 05/09/2011 by


I’ve now completed recording material for a documentary about the last ten days of the Forest Café, and the campaign to buy the building. It’s been quite an experience, and I’ve met some wonderful people along the way.

There’s an outline description of the documentary below, but there’s an awful lot to do before it sees the light of day – above all, I have to find time to both pitch it and produce it, which is going to be a challenge with my current work commitments.

Last days of the Forest – a radio documentary

The Forest is an award winning, radical arts space in the heart of Edinburgh – a safe haven for the creative and chaotic,  the weird and the wonderful.

Or at least it was.

Operating on a shoe-string budget, staffed by volunteers and  funded by a vegetarian café, the venue operated as a free, open access arts venue, steadfastly refusing to charge for thousands of shows, exhibitions and events.

But this August the venue, and the people who made it come to life, had to say good-bye to the building that they had made their home. The charity that owned it had gone bust, and the building was up for sale.

The Story

This radio documentary will follows the last ten days in the Forest in its home at 3 Bristo Place – the passionate efforts of volunteers to hold onto the building, the intense artistic activity of the place during the Edinburgh Festival, and the sad but beautiful rituals as they said goodbye.

It explores the reasons that some people are drawn to places like the Forest – why they find themselves investing more and more of their time, energy and love in something so seemingly fragile and ephemeral.

It is also a tale with a hopeful ending. The Forest is still running a campaign to buy the building back – and I hope that by telling the story of the people and the place, I can contribute to that campaign.