Bradford short films on Sky Arts

Nine short films, selected from a competition run by Bradford UNESCO City of Film were premiered on Sky Arts this summer.

The Bradford International Film Competition gives young directors and filmmakers worldwide an opportunity to screen their work to a public audience.  While all the short films were previously shown in Bradford’s City Park, the exposure that national television provides is an exciting prospect for these emerging filmmakers.

The films, which are available to watch on demand for SkyGo users, were chosen as monthly winners throughout 2014/15 by a panel of judges led by Sky Arts. Sky Arts supported the competition and awarded the £1,000 prize money.

Jason Wingard from Manchester was the overall winner with his dramatic short film 2:20 that follows a man able to see how long people have to live. Runners-up included Greg Bishop’s Johnny Washday that focused on the unique talents of a man who makes guitars from cigar boxes, and Bradford University student Himarsha Ukwatta’s film about Bradford’s iconic Lister Park.

Sky Arts Director, Phillip Edgar-Jones, who has offered to screen the films throughout the year, said:

“We are thrilled to be able to support emerging filmmakers in partnership with the Bradford international film competition. I was personally very impressed with the standard of story-telling and visual flair across the board and I am sure our discerning Sky Arts audience will be equally impressed. I am sure we will be seeing more of their work at a bigger scale in the years to come”.

This collaboration with Sky Arts is one of the many partnerships the city has developed since joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2009 as the world’s first UNESCO City of Film.

Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, David Wilson said:

Working with Sky Arts has been a wonderful partnership and I am delighted for our filmmakers that their highly creative and engaging work is being screened on Sky Arts”.

Bradford is also starring in cinemas across the country this month. Hollywood’s latest release, Miss You Already, featuring Drew Barrymore and Toni Colette was partly shot in Bradford’s Haworth’s moors last autumn, which has led to it being called the ‘Hollywood of the UK’.

However, typical to the British weather, as filming commenced so too did the rain, but the A-list stars were without a trailer: David Wilson said:

There was a lot of filming in the district at that time – we had DCI Banks, Black Work and a Bollywood film all shooting at various locations. The production company needed a trailer for Drew Barrymore. The businesses we normally use were all busy with the other productions, so we had this big budget film on our patch and no trailer! I turned to a farmer who had provided sheep on Ilkley Moor for the filming and thankfully he provided a caravan. It’s a classic example of how local businesses can benefit from being part of the supply chain of filming, and how vital it is that we have a database of businesses we can use at short notice.”

Amid the startling West Yorkshire landscape and lashing rain, Miss You Already is another example of Bradford’s growing film industry which also includes the BBC’s An Inspector Calls and Andrea Arnold’s 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights, and the film adaptation of Dad’s Army about to be added this impressive list.