Bradford named UNESCO City of Film


LONDON -- The northern English city of Bradford has scored a global first by being named the first ever United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization City of Film.

UNESCO, which selects world heritage sites, named Bradford as part of the organization's Creative Cities Network after submissions from the city's council.

Bradford is now only the third British city -- after Edinburgh City of Literature and Glasgow City of Music -- to receive a UNESCO designation as part of its CCN.

Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy, a Bradford native, said the UNESCO recognition is "testimony to the city's dedication to the film and media industry."

Bradford boasts the National Media Museum, is part of regional funding body Screen Yorkshire and also plays host to an annual film festival.

The city has also been the location for several iconic movies including "Billy Liar," "The Railway Children" and "Yanks" as well as recent television productions such as the "Red Riding Trilogy" all of which were set in and around Bradford.

"Not only has Bradford played a crucial role in the story of cinema and helped shape its history, it has inspirational plans to enhance its future relationship with film, which will benefit both the local community and the industry at large," Beaufoy said. "It is with pride, as a fellow West Yorkshireman, that we celebrate this UNESCO honor."

Bradford City of Film is a partnership between Bradford Council, the National Media Museum and Screen Yorkshire.

With its designation as UNESCO's only City of Film, Bradford aims to encourage more filmmakers and enthusiasts to come to Bradford and, in turn, boost the city's local economy and build Bradford's local and international profile.

Producer Steve Abbott, who chaired the bid to win UNESCO's favor, said: "Whilst it is Bradford's heritage in film which has secured the designation, I am confident we can bring further credit to both Bradford and UNESCO with our ongoing City of Film project."
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