Bradford UNESCO Creative City of Film launches unique memory project at International Film Summit

Bradford UNESCO Creative City of Film launched into March with an impressive three day programme, inspiring delegates from throughout the Creative Cities of Film network with a showcase of global cinema talent. Bradford International Film Summit celebrates the city’s UNESCO designation as a way to promote regeneration, economic development and its creative industries. This year the event also marked the launch of Memory Bank, a joint venture with Yorkshire Film Archive. The project uses archive film footage in care homes and support services, to preserve and strengthen memory in vulnerable adults.

The Summit began in Bradford City Park. An expanding ‘Cinemobile’, a cinema on wheels that brings film to venues across the UK, had travelled from Galway, another UNESCO Creative City of Film in the Republic of Ireland, for the event. UK NC Project Assistant Tamsin Koumis, who attended the summit, said “[The Cinemobile] complemented the Park’s permanent outdoor cinema screen, which itself was just a stone’s throw away from the National Media Museum. Film is truly at the heart of the city.”

For those at the conference, the Summit began with the 2012 documentary ‘Punk Syndrome’, which follows the Finnish punk band ‘Pretti Kurrikka’s Name Day’ on a number of musical adventures. The band members live with Down’s syndrome and autism, and the band provides an outlet for their frustrations and creativity. The film was in keeping with the Film Summit mission, to use creative expression as a tool for positive change.

Delegates from the UK, South Korea, Bulgaria, Ireland, China and Japan then participated in a series of collaborative workshops, which gave an opportunity to share ideas about using film for regeneration. The diverse representation at the event gave a fascinating insight into different global cinema cultures. With an equal emphasis on homegrown and international cinema talents, the Summit also gave a valuable platform to its thriving local film industry.

With high profile speakers including BAFTA Chair Anne Morrison, and Mark Reid, Head of Education at the British Film Institute (BFI), the Summit cemented Bradford’s place as a world class city of film ahead of the Bradford International Film Festival, which took place between 26 March and 6 April.

The programme was based on the four themes of its UNESCO City of Film status: Enjoy, Learn, Make and Visit. In its exploration of each, the Summit convincingly made the case for the importance of film as a unique medium with an important role in place-making and broader socioeconomic projects across the world.