The Confusion of Tongues (2014)


Helen and Derek are preparing their biggest pub quiz yet and everyone has eyes on the prize. Mary is determined to get her daughter Gemma to enjoy herself, whilst Kelvin is determined not to let his lover know the extent of his financial ruin and enlists the help of Barry, a window cleaner, in a crazy plan to make money. Ashley has just written a new book, but no-one wants to buy it, much to his agent’s distress.  It’s a big day with a bigger night ahead.


“from the East and the West, the North and the South,

they come to the city, strange tongue in their mouth,

and out of the confusion and babble of tongue,

people of this city gotta learn, they’ve got to learn

to sing as one’.

Taken from the lyrics of ‘Out of Babel’ by The Destroyers.

The Old Testament story of The Tower of Babel tells how Nimrod built one of the first cities after the flood (remember Noah?). He built a tower into the sky to get his people closer to God, using all the resources that he had at his disposal. Once God saw how people were determined to equate themselves with Himself, he destroyed the Tower and created a ‘confusion of tongues’, the Bible’s explanation for why we all speak different languages today.

Using this as a basis for the script, Ben Arntz was brought upon to develop a first draft with no real remit other than to create a polyphonic structure that was similar to the work of Robert Altman. The film was to reflect the multicultural nature of Birmingham and remain sensitive to the logistics of being filmed in 72 hours. The script was then developed in different phases, including students upon the MSc Digital Feature Film Production award at Staffordshire University and then the general public. We are currently on draft four of the script.


You can download the current copy of the script here.


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