I am delighted that Bristol’s reputation as a world-leading centre for film has been recognised by today being declared a ‘UNESCO City of Film’.
The announcement, made by the Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation), is fantastic news and an endorsement of Bristol’s position as a world leader in film production, education and training.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network works together towards a common mission for cultural diversity and sustainable urban development. The Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 116 Members from 54 countries.
The designation as a City of Film means that Bristol joins Sydney, Galway, Rome and Bradford with this status. Manchester will also take its place alongside Bristol as part of the Creative Cities Network after being named a UNESCO City of Literature.
Bristol has a long and impressive track record of producing TV drama, film, animation and particularly natural history content – we have been home to the BBC’s globally renowned Natural History Unit for more than 60 years.
We prioritise a strong and competitive film sector. In addition to a supportive Film Office, we have driven the development of the largest dedicated film and TV studio facility in the West of England; The Bottle Yard Studios. It is now home to some of Britain’s best high end TV and film titles, watched in the UK and internationally, including most recently Poldark (BBC), Broadchurch (ITV), The White Princess (STARZ) and Galavant (Disney).
Our cultural sector is a diverse industry that plays an important role in breaking down the barriers inequality creates. The creative industries in the city employ around 16,000 people and are growing fast. Our ambition is that the education, training and employment opportunities developed by the sector will benefit all communities across Bristol.
I have recently launched a competition for young, Bristol-based filmmakers to make a 90-second film, animation or motion video suitable for use on social media that captures their view of what makes our city the place to be. The winner will receive £1000 and their film will be used by my office and international broadcasters to show the world what a creative force Bristol is. Details of how to enter can be found here.
I hope this recognition will be a catalyst for bigger opportunities for the city and Bristolians to showcase Bristol as a centre for film.