Bradford named UNESCO City of Film, but what does it mean?

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And the winner is…..Bradford! which was today named UNESCO city of film. It beat off competition from Cannes, LA and Venice, but what does it mean, especially to those no-nonsense Yorkshire types?

It took little time for one plucky resident to put the boot in, commenting on the Bradford Telegraph and Argus they said:

“Very good news….However all the hard work to get this title will be for nothing unless Bradford Council sort out the city center (unless directors are filming apocalyptic films of course).”

The newspaper itself can’t help thumbing its nose at the other cities which were vying for the title.

The Yorkshire Post seems quite proud but ask, as there’s no cash associated with the prize, what does it really mean? It talks to Steve Abbott, proud Bradfordian, celeb film producer, and chair of the Bradford bid as well as Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning writer of both The Full Monty and Slumdog Millionaire who is originally from Keighley.

The Guardian can’t help a thinly veiled snigger but does point to the city’s diversity and Bite the Mango film festival as among reasons why it won.


From a regeneration point of view I’m trying to ignore the irony of Bradford winning the city of film when it wants to tear down its iconic Odeon building. The 1930s landmark has been refused a listing seven times by English Heritage, much to the chagrin of local residents and opposition group Borg who want to stop the £55m regeneration of the site. Bradford Centre Regeneration make their case for redevelopment here.

Photo by one man and his dogs used under Creative Commons

About Nadia Elghamry

Data Editor and deputy Regional Editor at Estates Gazette with more than 15 years experience in business journalism. I currently look after Property in Numbers and the month in numbers section of the magazine as well as drawing out stories from the numbers for every section of the magazine. As deputy regional features, working on the Focus features section of the magazine, hosting our receptions around the country and writing for the Focus blog.

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