Coolio standing beneath words on a screen behind him

Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture starts!

Monday 17 May 2021

Coventry launches its year as UK City of Culture at 20.21 on Sat 15 May 2021 with the release of a George Eliot-inspired film, featuring a new track by Coolie.

The film takes inspiration from the words of author George Eliot, who lived in the city in the 19th Century. Her words have been set to a new music track created especially for the film by Coolie, one of the city’s hottest talents.

Coolie is one of the pioneers of the booming Coventry music scene, known for his work with other Coventry artists including Jay1.

Led by Coolie, the film takes us on a journey around the city highlighting what being a City of Culture means to him, a city he feels has often been overlooked.

As George Eliot’s words are projected onto Coventry’s iconic mid-Century cityscape, Coolie takes the viewer on a personal tour of his city as it emerges from the challenges of the past year to become UK City of Culture.

Throughout the film Eliot’s observations on life and art are projected onto buildings of Coventry, while well-known people from the city speak their words. The quotes were selected for their relevance after a year in which people have been isolated, communities have been challenged and young people have been particularly hard hit.

They include:

It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted.

It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.

Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.

It is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.

Noting the positivity and forward looking attitude of Coventry, the words are riffed on and reimagined to consider what tomorrow brings, both across Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture and more widely.

The full list of participants are: Pauline Black, Lee Child, Coolie, Lisa Dillon, Emma Fryer, Nitin Ganatra, Stella Graham, Vince Hill, Debbie Isitt, Jay 1, Navin Kundra, Alice Lowe, Ann Lucas – The Lord Mayor of Coventry, Clint Mansell, Helen Masters, Carla Mendoca, Hazel O’Connor, Horace Panter, Icey Stanley, Paul Morrell, Samson, Manjinder Virk

The film will go live at 20:21 on Sat 15 May 2021. It's viewable at the City of Culture website and across social media channels.

Commissioned by Coventry UK City of Culture Trust and created by Uncommon Creative Studio and Untold Productions.