Bristol has, along with Sydney and Rome, been recognised as a UNESCO City of Film.
The city, which is home to many film festivals and studios, submitted its application for the bid to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) last year and has now heard the great news it has been successful.
The award cements Bristol’s reputation as a world-leading film centre. Because this is not just a single-year award, the hope is that the designation will mean the city will be known as a city of film for many years to come.
Liz Harkman, Executive Director of Bristol Festivals, said: “This is a huge coup for Bristol and a real accolade for all those producing film in the city and holding festivals here.
“Bristol is blessed with some great film festivals such as Encounters, Afrika Eye, The Bristol Palestinian Film Festival, Cinema Rediscovered and Wildscreen.
“I hope this award encourages more people to get involved in this wonderful art form, either as filmmakers or just by exploring what is taking place on our screens every month.”
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees was similarly delighted by the announcement. He commented: “This is fantastic news and a ringing endorsement of Bristol’s position as a world leader in film production, education and training. Our reputation as a diverse and creative city has long helped to attract productions and talent across film, TV drama, animation and of course natural history. I hope this recognition will be a catalyst for bigger opportunities for the city and Bristolians to showcase Bristol as a centre for film.”
The successful application bid was overseen by a management group with representatives from Bristol City Council, Bristol Film Office, the University of the West of England, the University of Bristol, Screenology, Destination Bristol and Bottle Yard Studios.
Dr Charlotte Crofts, Associate Professor of Filmmaking at UWE Bristol said: “As a filmmaker, educator and passionate Bristolian, it’s great that the city has been recognised not only for its strong production base, its vibrant film culture and strong educational provision, but also for our ambition in making film a vehicle to enhance the future development of the city.”
Fiona Francombe, Site Director of The Bottle Yard Studios said: “This new status will raise Bristol’s profile on the international stage even further. It will bolster our reputation as a city that offers the full package of support and really understands the language of filmmaking.”
Manchester takes its place alongside Bristol as part of the Creative Cities Network by being named a UNESCO City of Literature.