Bradford film to feature in US film festival

A short film made with and by women from the Sudanese community in Bradford will be screened at the River’s Edge International Film Festival in Paducah, Kentucky in November. The film titled ‘Unity and Community’ forms part of a wider project called the Neighbourhood Film Project which has been developed by Bradford UNESCO City of Film and a range of partners and community groups across Bradford.

The project set up initially in 2016 aimed to bring communities together through film and conversation. A series of film screenings were arranged in community venues and members of the community were consulted on the film titles.

Unity and Community screening

Sohare Norman from the Bradford Sudanese Community Centre and who narrates the film said: following some of the initial film screenings at venues close to the Sudanese Community Centre we started to discuss Sudanese culture in more detail with the team at Bradford City of Film. David suggested that we should make a film about Sudanese fashion, Sudanese coffee and so on. Some of the group who meet every Saturday got really excited about telling our story through film. Following a successful application to the Big Lottery Fund made by Bradford City of Film we were then introduced to filmmaker Simona Manni and together we created the short film which gives a brief overview of what life is like as a Sudanese woman living in Bradford and how we help each other out. I am delighted that the film will be seen by audiences in the US, bringing the story of Sudanese people living in Bradford to a wider audience.

The film is ten minutes long and shows the regular Saturday afternoon meetings held by Sudanese women at the Bradford Sudanese Community Centre and gives and insight into how they support each other.

Simoma Manni filmmaker said: It was a real pleasure to work with the Sudanese women to make the film and to get an insight into some of the challenges the community face but also the opportunities they create together. The community development work encouraged by Bradford City of Film is really important and it is great to be able to share this with an international audience.

As part of the initial stages of the project the team from Bradford City of Film screened some archive films of Bradford at the Bradford Sudanese Community Centre and gave a talk about Bradford’s rich film heritage.

David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film delivered the session and remembers it very well: What we tried to do was turn some of our existing film literacy methods upside down and make them relevant to people and a community who have recently settle in Bradford. It was great feedback on some of the archive footage and that led me to suggest that the group might want to make a film about their story, their lives, as they are now living in Bradford. Simona and the women’s group hot it off straight away and I think the end result is something they should all be very proud of.

The River’s Edge International Film Festival runs from 1 to 4 November in Paducah, Kentucky and the film will be screened in the short documentary section along with other short films from around the world.

More information on all of the above can be found at

In addition to the Unity and Community film a range of short films curated by the team at Bradford City of Film will also be screened as part of the legacy of the Small World Film Festival which started in Bradford in 2015. Films from this festival of short films have now been screened around the world as a result of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. See more here