To secure UNESCO City of Film status, Bradford had to satisfy a number of key criteria. With a long, strong tradition in film heritage, and a sizeable contribution to the industry’s technical development and evolution, it was well-placed to do so.
Two other factors came in to play: the District’s incredible versatility as a destination – from bleak to beautiful, urban to utterly rural, and film’s national museum, based in Bradford, a world-class facilitator of understanding and enjoyment of film via its festivals and public programme.
Winning the status is a landmark moment for the city’s ambitions. As a result of UNESCO’s endorsement, Bradford actively encourages more film makers and enthusiasts to come here, with the inevitable knock-on effect on the local economy. It also translates into an enhanced national and international profile for the city, creating an exciting, inspiring place in which to enjoy, learn about, make or visit because of film, for locals and non-locals alike. On a practical, vocational note, it also signals a commitment to developing people’s film making knowledge and potential.
The popularity, accessibility and ubiquity of film makes it an invaluable means of encouraging social inclusion and cultural cohesion. The whole combines to offer the best possible kick start to Bradford’s nascent regeneration scheme.