Bristol’s reputation as a world-leading film centre has been recognised with the announcement that it has been named a UNESCO City of Film.
The announcement by the Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) made this morning confirmed that Bristol has succeeded in its bid and will join the likes of Sydney, Galway and Rome as a ‘City of Film’.
Created in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a network of creative cities working together towards a common mission for cultural diversity and sustainable urban development.
The Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 116 Members from 54 countries covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, 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 UNESCO City of Film bid process began in 2016. Bristol’s application was put together under the guidance of a management group comprising Bristol City Council, Bristol Film Office, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), University of Bristol, Screenology, Destination Bristol and The Bottle Yard Studios.
The bid included the input of leading lights from across the city’s film and TV sector from production, education, screen heritage and exhibition, including Watershed, Knowle West Media Centre, Calling The Shots, Aardman Animations, BBC Bristol, Encounters Festival, Bristol Festivals and many more.
Around 3,700 people are employed by independent film & TV companies in the Bristol region working in specialist sub clusters of natural history, animation, factual, post-production, corporate and facilities. £140.3 million was generated by the sector in 2016.
In 2016/17, Bristol Film Office registered a total of £18.3 million inward investment generated by film and television production and a 30% rise in number of productions assisted to shoot in the city.