Welcome to Bradford, City of Film

Northern city becomes first holder of new UN title.

by Jennie Kermode

"Becoming the world's first City of Film is the ultimate celebration of Bradford's established and dynamic history in film and media," a representative of the National Media Museum said today. The city has just been awarded the title, which it will hold for one year, by UNESCO, the cultural arm of the United Nations. In doing so, it beat out competition from places like Cannes, Mumbai, and even Los Angeles.

Although it might not be thought of as very glamorous today, Bradford has played a very important role in the history of the industry. It was an important trading centre during the Industrial Revolution and developed a strong reputation for engineering talent. As photographic technologies developed, it was at the forefront, and it remained so during early experiments with film, going on to develop a new role as a distribution centre.

Latterly, Bradford has become well known for the museum, which was one of the first places in the UK to have an IMAX screen and which offers visitors lots of opportunities to get hands-on experience with film equipment. It attracts arund 700,000 visitors a year.

Bradford continues to produce film industry talent, including the Slumdog Millionaire screenwriter Simon Beaufoy. “This is superb news for Bradford and is testimony to the City’s dedication to the film and media industry," he said of the award. "Bradford has inspirational plans to enhance its future relationship with film, which will benefit both the local community and the industry at large."

"Receiving this award on behalf of the city of Bradford is an immensely proud moment for me but more importantly, a very proud occasion for everyone in the district," said the city's mayor, John Godford.

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