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Bristol has solidified its status as a world-leading and innovative place for film by being awarded the UNESCO city of film award announced by the Director-General of UNESCO, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, on the 7th November.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network started in 2004 and aims to bring together and aid cooperation between cities which strive to use creativity to drive sustainable development. There are currently 116 cities from 54 different countries involved. They have been awarded titles for the following categories; Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, has said ““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 bid for Bristol first began in 2016 and was the united effort of Bristol City Council, Bristol Film Office, University of the West of England (UWE), University of Bristol, Screenology, Destination Bristol and The Bottle Yard Studios.

Professor Jane Roscoe, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Creative Industries and Education at UWE, has said: “UWE Bristol is delighted that Bristol has been invited to join the network, as one of the three partner universities involved with the bid. Bristol is a centre of excellence in film training and education, with world-leading undergraduate and postgraduate film degrees in film and television, the Old Vic Theatre School, as well as colleges and community centres offering informal learning opportunities.”

Bristol has shown itself to be a hub of creativity, being a popular filming location for programs such as Doctor Who, Poldark and Sherlock, as well as a cultural centre, with pop up screenings, training, film festivals and Watershed Cultural Cinema and Digital Creativity Centre. A recent report revealed that 3700 people are employed in independent film & TV companies in the region and that, in 2016, £140 million was generated by the sector.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network will enhance Bristol’s reputation for film around the world and help it continue to offer diverse opportunities in the film industry.

By Phillipa Jefferies

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