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Bristol film industry gathers to celebrate new UNESCO City of Film status

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 01 February 2018 15:25

Bristol film industry gathers to celebrate new UNESCO City of Film status

Bristol’s new UNESCO City of Film status will be celebrated this evening, Thursday 1 February, at an event attended by leading figures from the city’s film sector.

The permanent status was awarded to Bristol by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in November 2017 in recognition of its work as a world-leading film centre.

Bristol now stands alongside Bitola, Bradford, Busan, Galway, Lódz, Qingdao, Rome, Santos, Sofia, Sydney, Terrassa and Yamagata as an official City of Film.

Opened by mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, the event will mark the official beginning of the City of Film programme and will feature presentations from key-delivery partners revealing more about what the new status means for Bristol.

Bristol's five-time BAFTA-winning screenwriter Jack Thorne, said: “Bristol is my home city, so I'm biased, but I think it's the most fascinating city in the country.

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“There's always something to do and experience, from the incredible outdoor spaces to the People's Republic of Stokes Croft, from the brilliant Bristol Old Vic to the amazing carnival.

“I'm so proud it's got this new City of Film status, it's a place where stories should be told.”

Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, said: “Tonight marks the beginning of a new opportunity for Bristol to grow our already booming cultural sector and connect the industry’s success to communities across the city.

“As a UNESCO City of Film we have a unique chance to harness the power of a diverse industry and empower people to collaborate on combating inequality and break down the barriers to opportunity.

“Bristol is an outward-looking city that understands the benefits of cooperating with partners across the world.

Being part of the global UNESCO network with fellow creative cities means we’re expanding our ability to build international relationships and exciting new partnerships.

Our goal is to ensure that those relationships directly benefit all communities across the city and help establish opportunities to support filmmaking talent, education, training and employment, whilst also widening cultural participation and engagement for our film audiences.”

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Four overarching priorities will guide the first four years of activity. These are:

  1. Film Production: enhancing Bristol’s reputation as a dynamic creative film hub, attracting and supporting TV and film production and inward investment
  2. Film Culture: broadening engagement with Bristol cinema-goers through screen heritage projects and festivals, attracting visitors to the city and increasing screen tourism
  3. Film Learning: unlocking talent, improving skills and increasing cultural capital by widening participation, engaging with schools and higher education providers
  4. Reducing Inequalities: removing barriers and promoting inclusivity, using film as a tool to broaden learning and community engagement, inspire creativity and harness the potential of Bristol’s dynamic multiculturality

As well as showcasing existing successful film projects that helped Bristol achieve its UNESCO status, the event will also preview a selection of City of Film projects and collaborations in development:

  1. A new Media Production Diploma at The Bottle Yard Studios for 16 to 19-year-olds, delivered by education provider Boomsatsuma
  2. Bringing together existing city film and music initiatives in order to broaden content and audience participation
  3. Supporting and developing Film our City, a competition which invites Bristol’s young filmmaking talent to capture the diversity and dynamism of Bristol on screen


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