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By David Wilson on

Celebrating a decade as the first City of Film

It’s 10 years since Bradford became the first ever UNESCO City of Film. Find out about some of the fantastic celebratory events coming up.

The National Science and Media Museum is one of the lead partners of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, and is supporting and hosting several of the 10th anniversary events. In this post David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, reflects on a busy launch reception at the museum and gives us a taster of upcoming events throughout the year…


National Science and Media Museum Director Jo Quinton-Tulloch joins David Wilson and others on the red carpet at the Bradford UNESCO City of Film 10th anniversary reception
National Science and Media Museum Director Jo Quinton-Tulloch joins David Wilson and others on the red carpet at the Bradford UNESCO City of Film 10th anniversary reception

Our anniversary celebrations started at the National Science and Media Museum with the launch of our full programme on 12 February. We had a buoyant start in Pictureville Bar with more than 200 people attending and everyone having their photos taken on a special red carpet we rolled out for the occasion. There was a fantastic, celebratory atmosphere which continued into the evening when we screened a special presentation about the anniversary year in Pictureville Cinema.

Our next visit to the museum will be on Tuesday 26 March 2019 when we’ll be bringing delegates, including some from Korea and China, for a tour of the museum. Our guests will have been attending our International Film Education Symposium where we’re focusing on the growing importance of film literacy in our city. Also on the agenda is media information literacy (MIL)—we’ll be looking at how we can support young people in using the internet and filming more creatively while avoiding the pitfalls of fake news and misinformation.

The symposium will be a really fascinating couple of days, with Alton Grizzle from UNESCO Paris leading on MIL and Mark Reid from the British Film Institute as our keynote speaker on film literacy. We’re hosting workshops, panel debates and a special look at our own very successful film literacy programme—and if you’re interested in coming along, there are some tickets left. Book via the Bradford City of Film website; there are also a few complimentary tickets left for researchers and students—contact info@bradford.film for details.

We’ll be back at the museum in June and July as it’s the starting point for two of our film heritage walks. The National Science and Media Museum is, in my view, the definitive place to start these tours as it sits on what was the original site of the People’s Palace Music Hall, which played the first commercial film in the city more than a century ago.

I run the Bradford Film office and last year we supported filming for Peaky Blinders, The ABC Murders, the Downton Abbey movie, and Official Secrets, starring Keira Knightley—to name but a few! My walking tours, which are open to everyone, give an insight into how the crews set up and film, and we take a look at some of the most popular locations used in the city centre. Book your tickets now.

Looking further ahead, we’re really looking forward to bringing our Bradford Family Film Festival back to the museum with IMAX screenings in August. Watch out for more detail coming soon on the Bradford City of Film website.

Enzo Cilenti
Game of Thrones actor Enzo Cilenti will be speaking in Bradford on 4 April 2019 as part of the Screen Talk series

If you love film, our Screen Talk series is a must! These free talks offer a fantastic opportunity to hear from our guest speakers, who will share first-hand insights into the TV and film industry and talk candidly about their experiences—from working in special effects to producing and acting. Screen Talks take the form of Q&A sessions, so make sure you come armed with any burning questions!

The next Screen Talk takes place on 4 April 2019 and our guest will be Bradford-born actor Enzo Cilenti, who you may know if you’re a fan of Luther or Game of Thrones. Don’t miss out—book your free tickets now.

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